Tag Archives: church

Like Millions of Others The Good Old Days Part 7

Snapshot 1 (02-09-2014 1-02 AM)

Click pic to see the light

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What are clinker bricks?


Reid Dickie

I had never heard of clinker bricks until I visited my cousin in Edmonton this summer. She showed me a church that is partially constructed of clinker bricks. What are clinker bricks, you ask?

When fired in early brick kilns, the surface of bricks that were too close to the fire changed into volcanic textures and darker, EDMONTON 138often purplish colors. Typically they were discarded but around 1900, these bricks were discovered to be usable and distinctive in architectural detailing, adding a charming earthy quality to buildings. The hardened residue of coal fires is called clinker, thus these mutant bricks found a name. In Europe, it is spelled klinker


Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Edmonton was built in 1913 using the distinctive clinker brick adding a rich tapestry to the Gothic design. Rather than the usual conformity of bricks, each clinker brickEDMONTON 129 is unique, its shape and colour determined by its nearness to the fire. This church, celebrating its first century this year, aptly demonstrates the techniques used in combining ordinary smooth bricks with fused irregular clinkers.

Once the charm of clinker bricks was recognized, it was often used on the stylish homes of the exceedingly wealthy. Edmonton still has a few upscale houses that were built using clinkers.





Filed under Architecture, Churches, Heritage Buildings

Twelve Days of Christmas Day Eleven

Christ Anglican Church, 505 Curwen Street, Cartwright, MB

Cartwright Anglican

Reid Dickie

Compact and solid, Cartwright’s old stone church sits at a prominent intersection in the little southern Manitoba Anglican churchcommunity. A readily available building material for prairie pioneers, fieldstones in a variety of colours were expertly mortared on this simple English Gothic church. It was built in 1897-98 by stonemason Samuel Hossack and his sons.

The narrow pointed arch windows with a bit of tracery account for most of the place’s decoration. Windows are surmounted with fieldstone arches. Notice the slight arch over the entrance made visible by the slight rise in the mortar and stone. The large window in the apse has lovely stainedSide view glass, which were added in 1927.

A fire in 1910 gutted the interior but the body remained intact, resisting the flames. After the fire a stone vestibule was added but it has since been removed.

One of the oldest stone churches in Manitoba, it was recognized as a municipal heritage site in 2003. Thereafter the community worked for several years restoring the pretty little church to a stable and useful condition. Huzzah to the restoration committee and the people of Cartwright and area for their excellent work.

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Filed under 12 Days of Christmas 2012, Churches, Heritage Buildings

Twelve Days of Christmas Day Two

Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church, PR 201, Sundown, MB


Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church


Settled comfortably into its pleasing and tranquil church yard, Sts. Front viewPeter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church has served Sundown area parishioners since it was constructed in 1940. Based on similar churches in western Ukraine, Sts. Peter and Paul is attractive with its large squat central dome, dual banya towers and the cruciform plan. The large dome opens into the nave of the church. Atop each of the trio of metal-clad domes, symbolizing the Holy Trinity, is a three-bar metal cross. The peak of the roof adds a fourth cross. The straight-onBell tower view of the facade is an irresistible path to ascension.

A free-standing bell tower featuring a cupola and louvered openings completes the ecclesiastical compound.

The church’s interior, of which I was not able to get pictures, is richly ornate, featuring original iconostas, iconography and wall surfaces by John Pushka. Pushka, who came from Angusville, MB, painted other church interiors in Manitoba including the Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church of the Ascension in Angusville, Lakedale Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic Church in Silver Creek, and St. Nicholas Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church in Gonor.

I shot lots of pictures of this church and used them to create a 2:14 video showing Sts. Peter and Paul from all angles. Enjoy.

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Filed under 12 Days of Christmas 2012, Churches, Heritage Buildings, Manitoba Heritage, Pioneers

Three More New Church Videos

Reid Dickie

I always shoot many more pictures than I can use in posts so I’ve assembled the extra church pics into short videos and uploaded them to my YouTube channel.

You get to see contextual views of how and where the building sits, shots of it from many different angles and some sound to accompany the vision. I have featured all three churches in blog posts. Click on the church name to read my blog post. Click picture to watch the video.

St. Mark’s Anglican Church, Minnedosa, MB  2:17

Griswold United Church, Griswold, MB  2:01

St. Anne’s Anglican Church, Poplar Point area, MB  2:26

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Filed under Churches, Day Tripping, Heritage Buildings, Manitoba Heritage, Pioneers

Manitoba Heritage That Is Gone, Gone, Gone!

Reid Dickie

During my travels this summer working through my list of heritage places to visit, I came across several heritage sites that no longer exist. Although most of these sites have been designated as municipal and federal heritage sites, for various reasons they are now gone, gone, gone.

Designated a municipal heritage site in 1987 and included in the federal Canadian Register of Historic Places, Bethlehem Lutheran Church manse, which sat on Queen Elizabeth Road in Erickson, MB for a number of years after being moved from Scandinavia, MB, was demolished a couple of years ago. Used for a time as a museum, it deteriorated significantly and was becoming as public danger. It succumbed to old age.

The little village of Sifton, MB had a rare heritage site that was deemed municipally significant and designated as such in 2005. Holy Resurrection Russian Orthodox Church, built in 1926 in the Lemko style, underwent extensive rehabilitation after designation, returning it to its beautiful original colour and condition, as you can see in the above picture. In 2010 the church burned down, probably arson. This isn’t the first fire on this site. Two buildings connected to the parish were also destroyed by fire. A 1905 orphanage burned in 1924 and a 1926 monastery went up in flames in the 1980s.

In the village of Garland, I went looking for Andrew Kowalewich General Store, an example of modest country stores, this one built in 1913 and clad in pressed tin. Although having municipal designation, the building was torn down by the owner about ten years ago.

In Dominion City, MB a timber truss bridge spanning the Roseau River was given heritage designation by the municipality in 2000. Unique in Manitoba because, though most truss bridges are made of steel, this one was made of wood. I use the past tense because the bridge was washed away by flood waters recently.

These aren’t the only Manitoba heritage sites that have vanished but they do give a fair overview of reasons why heritage sites disappear. Natural causes like weather, indifference to heritage significance in succeeding generations, deterioration of materials from age and firebugs are a few causes of heritage loss. Designation by various levels of government, while giving heritage sites prestige and importance, doesn’t assure the continued existence of places that, though once integral to the community, now search for new meaning in the 21st century.

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St. Hyacinthe Catholic Parish Church, La Salle, MB

Reid Dickie

Towering above all else, including the cottonwood trees in the little French community of La Salle, MB, south of Winnipeg, stands St. Hyacinthe Catholic Parish Church. Representing the strong faith of the local population for over 100 years, this masterfully achieved edifice of buff brick possesses an inspiring plethora of design details on every facade.

The form of the large church is transept – shape of the cross – with an elaborate front facade that evokes order and ascension climbing to a slim bell tower surmounted by a shimmery steeple.

Let’s take a close look at the front facade. The most striking feature is its comfortable symmetry, not a line out of place, not a wasted brick, just upward sweeping motion. 

The brickwork is marvellous. There are three arcades (rows of arches), each with five arches, formed by the brick design, two are sloping downward under the roof eaves and the centre spans the front of the entrance pavilion just below its cornice. The smooth corbelling (layering of bricks) that forms the arcades is superb, creating interesting shadow and light combinations.

As with the arcades, all openings in the building are arched. The front entry, the window above with its trio of slender windows under a circular focus and the openings in the bell tower are all arched. All openings have a limestone keystone at the apex. The keystones on the front have small tablatures.

On the ends of the transepts there is another series of corbelled arcades, thirteen arches under the eaves and above large round windows with spoke tracery. All around the place under the eaves is a sweet bit of corbelling that adds to the ornate sensibility of the church.

In true heritage geek parlance, the bell tower/steeple is a honey! Eight arched openings, each keystoned with a scroll and separated by square columns and capitals, create the still-inhabited bell tower. Above the bell tower a short eight-sided dome supports the steeply pitched octagonal steeple that ends with a round pinnacle and a metal cross spire.

La Salle, MB is located south of Winnipeg on Provincial Road 247 a few kms west of Hwy #75.

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St. Elias Ukrainian Orthodox Churches, Sirko, MB

Reid Dickie

A one-of-a-kind example of two Ukrainian churches in the same churchyard – one original, the other succeeding – can be discovered in Sirko in extreme southeastern Manitoba, about a mile from the Minnesota border.

The original St. Elias Ukrainian Orthodox Church, of log construction, was built in a vernacular style in 1908 under the direction of Dmytro Waskul. Its small rounded rectangular plan accommodates the vestibule at one end and sanctuary at the other. Its delightfully painted interior can hold about 30 standing adults.

The unusual roofline with deep overhanging eaves supported by large V-brackets and trisected at the ends to produce a curved space is fully engaging. The three crosses along the peak of the roof leave no doubt as to the function of the little place.

Next to the old church is a log bell tower of traditional Ukrainian design and construction.

Modest, holy and surrounded by the graves of former parishioners, many with tall white crosses denoting their Orthodox faith, the old church shares its sanctity with its replacement.

Indicating the success of the second generation of Ukrainians, they replaced their humble utilitarian building in 1950 with a grander expression of their faith.

Larger and more substantial, the style is familiar: cruciform with three small banyas or onion domes, one surmounting a larger central dome and arched Romanesque openings all around.

A new bell tower was constructed along with the church. In this picture you can see both churches and both bell towers. The new St. Elias, a focal point of the local farming community, is still used regularly.

Blue on blue, white on white, the church and sky harmonize on a hot Manitoba afternoon.

Watch my 3:08 video of both St. Elias churches.

Sirko is located about five miles south of MB Hwy #201 on Mile Rd 54E just east of Sundown.

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St. Anne’s Anglican Church, MB Hwy #26

Reid Dickie

Built in 1864, St. Anne’s Anglican Church is one of the oldest log churches in continuous use in western Canada. Situated on a peaceful treed lot and surrounded by graves that date back to the building of the church, St. Anne’s  was constructed largely due to Archdeacon Cockran who was the founder of the Church of England Missions in the Assiniboine River valley.

Its plan is a simple rectangular nave with an entry tower topped with a pyramidal roof and a pinnacle with a weathervane. The four corners of the roof sport wooden pinnacles as well. Three windows on each side of the church allow adequate light, aided by the window in the apse behind the altar. All windows including the skylight above the entrance feature Gothic Revival pointed arches and complementary tracery.

The above picture is of the entrance to the church. You can see the exposed log construction. A building technique known as Red River frame, which was once the most common building technology in Manitoba, was used to build St. Anne’s. The method involved creating a framework of vertical logs, then placing short horizontal logs to fill in the spaces. Of the few remaining Red River frame buildings in the province, St. Anne’s a prime and precious example.

This picture of the interior of St. Anne’s displays the simple altar and the original plain decor of the church.

St. Anne’s Anglican Church is located just south of Hwy #26 a couple of kms west of Poplar Point. Watch for signs by the side of the road. Shrouded by mature trees, you can’t see the church from the highway. Meanwhile watch my short video of St. Anne’s

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Manitoba Heritage – All Saints Anglican Church, Stonewall area

Reid Dickie

All Saints Victoria Anglican Church, Stonewall area

One of the many distinguishing features of this little wooden church is that it was among the first Anglican churches in Manitoba built away from the river-oriented Red River Settlement. Constructed in 1877, the church is also a rare remaining example of dovetail log construction, a technique that replaced the earlier Red River frame method. Limited resources of the time yielded a humble and unpretentious place of worship with a modest bell- cote.

Typical of Anglican churches of the time, All Saints Victoria Anglican has a symmetrical rectangular shape with gable ends and a matching gabled porch, a simple bell-cote with a shingled pyramidal roof and sensible, reserved Gothic Revival details.

The trios of pointed side windows, divided by wooden tracery creating further points, and their red and blue top lights are central and simple characteristics of Gothic Revival.  I especially like this picture of the matching headstone and pointed arch windows.

On a well-treed lot and surrounded on three sides by graves of many of the area pioneers dating back to the first settlements, the little church is located about 7 kms north of where the divided Hwy #7 highway ends and half a kilometre west of the highway. Coming in from the south, there is a road sign denoting the site’s heritage value and directing you to it. No such sign exists coming in from the north.

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Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church, Kosiw, MB

Reid Dickie

Located in the Kosiw district south-southwest of Dauphin, MB, near the northern boundary of Riding Mountain National Park, the Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church of Sts. Peter and Paul is a fine interpretation of a type of traditional church architecture found in Western Ukraine. Overlooking pastoral rolling farmland, the cruciform wooden church with its five, eight-sided, metal-covered banyas (onion domes), including the large two-tiered central dome that opens into the church below, has served area pioneers and their descendents since 1921. The figure of the arched sash windows is doubly replicated in the attractive entrance to the place. On the same sheltered grounds is a well constructed wooden belltower, typically separate from the church proper, housing two bells. Watch my one-minute video of the church.

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Filed under Churches, Ghost Towns, Heritage Buildings, Manitoba Heritage, Spirit, Uncategorized

Correction on Churches page

Reid Dickie

I screwed up!

The picture I’ve have had on my Churches page that I thought was St. Agnes Anglican Church in Carberry is, in fact, Knox Zion Presbyterian Church in Carberry. They have similar designs which confused me.

My error was pointed out to me in a contact through the blog from “Anglican Clergyman.” I appreciate the correction. Thank you. There are pictures and short write-ups about 25 Manitoba churches, mostly in rural Manitoba, on my blog here. This is a picture of the real St. Agnes Anglican in Carberry.

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12 Days of Christmas Day Ten

Cypress River United Church, Cypress River, MB


This massive red brick United Church stands impressively on a corner. Charles Bridgman of Winnipeg designed the place for a union of Presbyterians and Methodists in 1921. The three front windows have been bricked in with vivid crosses and a star below the arch. Ascension is accomplished here in novel ways using attenuated symmetry. The roofline of the entrances begins ascension. Small staggered rectangular windows prompt the upward motion. The roof angle over the left entrance and nave swoops upward, accentuated by the jerkinhead gable end and culminating in the fine tower. The tower feels like something’s been removed from it.

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12 Days of Christmas Day Nine

St. Agnes Anglican Church, Carberry, MB

Reid Dickie

A tall stone foundation supports this substantial tan brick Gothic church, its aura is steadfast and prosperous. The entrance tower, well adept at sending your attention heavenward, is beautifully proportioned to the rest of the structure. Gothic arches abound on windows, bell tower and doorways. Built in 1902/03 from a design by James White, who also designed Carberry United Church, a major feature is the large bell visible in the steeple. The small side entrance with the little green roof tucked into the corner is a whimsical bit of medieval building craft.

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12 Days of Christmas Day Three

Douglas United Church, Douglas, MB

This modest and well-maintained wooden Gothic church was built in 1893 for a Methodist congregation. Sometime over its 118-year history, the church lost its belfry and steeple though the roof pitches and lancet windows still point heavenward. Notice the dainty corner pillars with plain pinnacles. The rear section was added on in 1957.

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12 Days of Christmas Day Two

St. Josaphat’s Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Shoal Lake, MB

Illustrating my hometown bias, here’s a second church in Shoal Lake. Located across the street from yesterday’s church, this white wooden Catholic Church has three modest onion domes dominating the façade. The domes and their drums are octagonal with heavy iron cross finials. The three arched windows on the front elevation compliment the domes. The entry pavilion to the rectangular nave is bracketed by the slim corner towers. This church was built in 1945 to replace the 1892 building they had bought from the Anglicans in 1919 for $1,000. The old church became the IOOF Hall and was moved to Fourth and South Railway where it still stands.

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Manitoba Heritage Church – St. Mark’s Anglican, Minnedosa

Reid Dickie

St Mark’s Anglican Church, 108 – 2nd Avenue SW, Minnedosa, MB

Minnedosa boasts one of the best collections of fieldstone buildings on the prairies and exceptional St. Mark’s Anglican Church ranks highly among them. Begun in 1903 and completed the following year, the parishioners chose the Gothic Revival style, typical of Protestant churches, to make their statement. And what a statement it is! The steep pitch of the roof, the sensually pointed narrow windows and the entry canopy which has the feel of once being atop the church (Can anyone verify that with a photograph for me?) all contribute to the style. The plan is transept, meaning the church is in the shape of a cross.

One of the church’s many distinguishing features is the rare use of pink mortar between the fieldstones. This is most striking on the south side in full sun and complements the deep red trim around the openings.

The fenestration employs single, pairs and trios of pointed windows, all sporting striking trim and multiple panes. Each gable end has a trio of windows on each level.

The original St Mark’s was built on this site in 1885 and, as Minnedosa grew, so did its congregation. Combining professional masons and volunteer labour, the present church arose costing about $5,000. Local history recalls that St. Mark’s rector went out into the countryside and personally conscripted farmers to haul wagonloads of stones to the construction site.

The stone masonry is exquisite, every detail is lovingly executed, St. Mark’s is a fine example of ecclesiastical architecture in a small town.

Watch my short video about St. Mark’s.

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Treherne Bottle Buildings

Reid Dickie

In 1982, Bob and Dora Cain along with Fred Harp created a bottle house using 4000 bottles out on the Cain farm near Treherne, MB. That was only the beginning of their bottle ideas. The uniqueness of the project has resulted in a small bottle village relocated to downtown Treherne on Hwy #2. There is a house, church, well and working restroom, all made of bottles! Let me take you on a guided video tour of the bottle buildings.

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St. Paul’s United Church,  Virden, MB

              Built of buff brick in 1901 as a Methodist Church, the original steeple was replaced with a tower in 1962. There is a bit of a clash in styles with the tower addition but somehow it feels appropriate.

            Look at the fenestration on the facade of this church. Beginning with the row of four heavily segmented rectangular windows with upper transom sections, move upward. On the second level they became three windows but still there are, subtly, four windows. The large window is composed of two small windows like the two that bracket it. The four fade into a three-sided trefoil, which rises further to become one. The sweetly pitched gable launches your attention toward heaven.

                  The thin turret on the corner with its steeply pitched roof and finial balances the handsome now-Italianate bell tower with its quoins, tall cross and low-pitched roof. The extended brick headers over the arches and flat windows that continue across the front as a stringcourse provide cohesion to the façade’s elements.

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Carberry United Church, Carberry, MB

               The same architect, James White, designed all the churches in Carberry including Carberry United Church. Built in 1903 for the Methodists, this church has a marvelously picturesque roofline. The lower twin spires on the octagonal corner towers conspire with the double steeply pitched gables to increase the elation of the tall spire with its metal finial.

          All the Gothic roof points are softened by many Romanesque arches and labels formed by high relief brickwork. The windows are nearly all stained glass with a modest use of limestone sills. Carberry United rests handsomely on a stone foundation.

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