I remember Dad would always leave ample time before departing on a junket, "because you never know when something go wrong." As it turned out, he was proven right. Our car got a flat tire, and he was forced to doff his 'Sunday go to meeting' jacket and change a tire - with timing that would make an F1 pit crew envious. Even so, we arrived too late to sit in the filled to capacity downstairs pews (ah, those were the days), and had to slink up to the balcony (couldn't be better, thought the kids!!)
My copy of the History of the Churches of PEC (an inscribed gift to our paternal grandparents, Christmas 1971) records that this old red brick church was dedicated as a Wesleyan Methodist church on May 3, 1872 (reference: the United Church of Canada Committee on Archives). Another account explains its early history as a non-denominational church, and the resultant schism when the congregation (or part thereof) opted to join the Union of Canada Methodist Churches in 1880.
The spot commemorates many happy family and community events, but a number of tragedies also. Back in September 1859 a worker was killed (leaving a wife and seven children). while an earlier church was being completed, and that building appears to have burned in 1870.
The structure itself is somewhat unusual among early churches. Like its closest neighbour, Mt. Tabor Church (1865) in Milford, South Bay church adopts not the familiar pointed arches of the Gothic Revival, but the elegant rounded arch of the Italianate style. The soaring curves of the Florentine windows compete with the uninspired coloured glass in the lower lights - but how else to keep a small girl's mind from wandering off to field and shore during Divine Service?