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
Fieldstone Mansard Roof House, 66 Third Avenue SE, Minnedosa, MB
Among the collection of wonderful fieldstone buildings in Minnedosa stands this fine example of Second Empire architecture adapted to prairie needs. Commonly used for public buildings in Canada, especially those built by the Federal Department of Public Works in the late 1800s and early 1900s, Second Empire architecture was adopted by the Roman Catholic church and used for its schools and convents well into the 20th century. Built about 1896 from local fieldstone and first owned by Charles Currie, the house sports many well-defined details of the style. The red mansard roof dominates the house with the chimney poking up out of the top and tall dormers on all four sides. The dormers have pediment roofs with delightful sunburst detailing. The little house has two full bay windows with the street side bay featuring tall windows on all three sides. The scrolled brackets under the eaves are painted in two colours, a characteristic which complements the mottled colours of the fieldstones. Situated on a corner, the house gives the impression of stability and conveys a sense of its own history.
Fieldstone House, 77 First Street NE, Minnedosa, MB
Situated on a quiet street and peeking shyly from behind luscious evergreens, this dignified fieldstone house sports several rather rare Gothic Revival touches. Beyond typical Gothic features of its steep front gable and rectangular, symmetrical massing, this two-storey house features elegantly elaborate bargeboard (under the gable) in a pattern that is replicated on the low balustrade around the porch roof. The peak of the gable has both a pendant hanging below and a pinnacle pointing upward, lovely features with the pinnacles repeated atop the side gables.
Porches on heritage buildings can be tricky and either add to or detract from the overall design and feeling. This porch, painted white to contrast the grey and reddish stones, adds further elegance to the place. The columns on the porch suggest Classical Revival architecture. The little balustrade on the roof is precious.
The side view illustrates the symmetrical fenestration with subtle sunbursts above each window. You can see the pinnacle at the point of the gable end and the attractive mottle of the fieldstones.
The Minnedosa Heritage Committee states the house was built in the 1890s for Joseph and Edith Burgess who raised their 11 children there. Joseph established the Burgess store in Minnedosa in 1896. Burgess Quality Foods still operates from the same location today. The house has changed hands several times over the decades with very sympathetic restoration being done after 1985.
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.
Pearson Building, 110 Main Street S, Minnedosa, MB
The art of stonemasonry thrived in Minnedosa, not just in house building but in commercial buildings as well. Situated on a prominent corner of Minnedosa’s Main Street, the Pearson Building is an extremely rare example of a commercial building combining the rustic charm of fieldstones with a bit of eye-catching Gothic Revival flair in the two proud steep gables, and Italianate style with the paired rounded windows and the beautifully detailed wooden cornice.
Built in the 1870s, the exterior of the building has survived virtually as it was built with very little apparent cracking or movement of the stones. It’s a solid piece of stonemanship! Though currently called the Pearson Building, in the past it was the Setter Building and the Bruce Building. As often is the case with small town commercial establishments, it has housed many businesses over the years: movie theatre, stores, offices, meeting rooms and halls. Sir John A. MacDonald is said to have orated in its second floor meeting room.
What distinguishes this handsome building are the simple, but not plain, uses of style elements and their effect on the overall feeling from the structure. The window pairs wrap around the exposed sides of the building, creating in us the comfort of pairs. The marvellous wooden cornice with its hundreds of dentils tucked into tiered rows and the evenly spaced double brackets help achieve perfect symmetry, an interesting contrast to the various colours of rocks. The wooden brackets are the most ornate feature of the place and the fact they are still original and well-maintained speaks to the tenderness and love this building has enjoyed over the last 140 years. It deserves it!
All the Minnedosa fieldstone buildings in this series are still in use, either as homes or as their original purpose. I find it wonderfully heart-warming to know these old piles still thrive with life and continue to nurture new generations as they grow up and old.
When town building began in earnest on the prairies in the late 1800s, most little settlements had a bank. Often they were private banks, such as the one in Old Deloraine which was owned by Cavers and Stuart. Toronto Dominion opened a bank in the original site of Pilot Mound. As was frequently the case, the railroad decided the locations of towns despite the best intentions of early pioneers. Usually the whole town was moved next to the railroad. Early bank vaults were made of fieldstones and due to their clumsy weight were left behind. There are only two such bank vaults in western Canada and both are in southern Manitoba. One rests on the lower slope of Pilot Mound and the other sits in the middle of a farmer’s yard which is the site of the original Deloraine.
12 MANITOBA CHURCHES
St. Paul’s United Church, Souris, MB
Built in 1907, this huge buff brick church stands regally at a street corner. The enormous tower with a castellated parapet, lively corbelling and tiered buttresses is well proportioned to the massive body of the place and contributes greatly to the vertical orientation of the structure. It rests on a fieldstone foundation that extends about five feet above ground. Two large parapet gables and several smaller ones adorn its roofline, a major chimney with Gothic details is a solid feature and the slightly pointed openings increase its Gothic persuasion. The front window is over two storeys high.