Uxbridge Cemetery Database : Information for Quaker Hill (also known as St. Andrew's Scotch Kirk), Uxbridge Twp

St. Andrew’s Scotch Kirk, Quaker Hill

Taken from the book The Churches of Uxbridge-Scott,

Written and illustrated by Allan McGillivray.

By the 1830’s, settlers from the British Isles began moving into the Uxbridge-Scott area. They were at first visited by missionaries such as Rev. Carruthers who said that in 1832 he traveled twelve miles from Plank’s Tavern in Uxbridge into Whitchurch without seeing a house or settler. These “Old Kirk” or “Scotch” Presbyterians became the second local group to build a church.

A congregation was formally organized at Quaker Hill in 1839. The trustees obtained one acre of land from Samuel Wightman on the east end of lot 35, concession V, for a burial ground on the condition that they would erect a church and school. The frame church, 24 feet by 36 feet, was put up by 1840, but a school was not built as government schools were about to be established. Thus, as agreed in the contract for the land, the trustees paid Mr. Wightman a fine of ten pounds in 1842 as a penalty for not building a school within three years.

The majority of those who had signed the contract came from Scott, although the building was erected in Uxbridge Township. At that tine, there were less than twenty families in Scott, and most of them were living in the south and east part of the township. Most were Presbyterian.

For fifteen years, there was no settled pastor at St. Andrew’s. Occasional services were taken by Rev. James Lanbie of Pickering and Whitby. Following Mr. Lambie’s death in 1847, Rev. William Brown became the first minister to live at Quaker Hill.

St. Andrew’s was very succ3essful. In 1854, the Communion roll was revised to contain eighty-one names. Land was bought from William Ferguson a short distance south of the Kirk for a manse. William Kydd, a carpenter who lived nearby, erected this house which still exists as one of the early homes of Uxbridge-Scott.

This “Old Kirk” had been the only one of its kind in the area with people coming from as far as Leaskdale and Epsom, and in good weather some had to stand outside the door.

Also, n 1862, the minister from St. Andrew’s was holding services in the Temperance Hall at the corner of Spruce and Albert Streets in the hamlet of Uxbridge.

In the 1860’s, “Free Church” congregations were stared in Uxbridge and Leaskdale, and some members left the Scotch Kirk to join them. However, all the strength was not taken from the St. Andres’s congregation for in 1867 they set out to erect a new building. This brick church was opened in 1868, and remained for almost 100 years until it was taken down in 1966.

Continuing with Chalmer’s Presbyterian Church, Uxbridge:

In the 1850’s, settlement had increased rapidly, and there were more “Free Church” supporters. They were Presbyterians who wanted among other things a say in choosing their own pastors. They soon organized two new congregations, one in the hamlet of Uxbridge, and another to the north at Leaskdale.

In Uxbridge, Free Church Presbyterians held their services in the Wesleyan Methodist Church on 1st Avenue. Here, the two groups held a Union Sunday School until 1868 when they both felt a need for their own quarters. The Presbyterians soon found a new home. In 1869, they erected a brick church on the north-west corner of Church and Toronto Streets. As Uxbridge became a village and then a town this small building became inadequate, and in 1883 land was purchased behind it for a larger Kirk. The new one was completed in 18845, was elaborately decorated, and soon had gas lighting.

Eventually, old differences had been settled for by 1921 Rev. H.L. Bennie had the double charge of Chalmer’s in Uxbridge and St. Andrew’s at Quaker Hill. When St. Andres’s closed, an addition was made to Chalmer’s with the corner stone being laid in 1964. It was suitably called St. Andrew’s Hall.* * * *

First known internment  John CLARK 1839