mcintyre united church
Built 1879 – conc. 5, pt. lot 30
349431 4th ConcessionB
McIntyre was named for four brothers of that name who originally settled the four one-hundred acre lots of the cross-roads (c.1850). By the 1860’s, the largely Scottish settlement was thriving agriculturally, but the small population was seriously divided over religious matters with at least two different sects of Presbyterians as well as Baptists and Congregationalists all having visiting clergy hold services in the school house. When the school became too small, a non-denominational log cabin was built with services open to all comers. Summers, starting mid-1870, a Presbyterian divinity student from Queens preached in Maxwell, Feversham and McIntyre. Deciding that all of the congregations could be united under guidance of whichever sect first built a proper church building, when he graduated in 1879, Rev. Dr. John Chisholm encouraged the entire community to build the church, and then served as the first minister until 1884. He returned fifty years later to celebrate the anniversary of what by then was McIntyre United Church: an important part of community life for the next 70 years, until closed in 2000. An annual service is still held the 2nd Sunday of June.
This very simple structure devoid of elaborate decoration is typical of small country churches constructed by conservative protestant sects. Common-bond double-brick walls use locally made red brick (likely from Collingwood). The double-entry doors feature ornate hinges made by local blacksmith, Hugh Roberts. Gothic-style pointed-arch windows feature elegant tracery and provide lots of interior light. Windows and door are strikingly accentuated with contrasting white-yellow brick (probably from Proton). The interesting triangular finish to the bottom of the Gothic arches is unusual, as is the fairly solid barge-board trim on front eaves.
Peace Plenty Progress (a History of Osprey Township) devotes 4 pages to historical happenings at this church which was obviously an integral part of spiritual as well as social life in a vibrant agricultural settlement.