Ontario's Historical Plaques 

Discover Ontario's history as told through its plaques

2004 - Now in our 15th Year - 2019

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St. Thomas' Church 1838

St. Thomas' Church 1838

Photo by Alan L Brown - Posted June, 2004

St. Thomas' Church 1838

Photo from Google Street View ©2014 Google - Posted February, 2014

St. Thomas' Church 1838

Photo by Alan L Brown - Posted June, 2004

St. Thomas' Church 1838

Photo by Alan L Brown - Posted June, 2004

Plaque Location

The County of Simcoe
The Township of Oro-Medonte
In Shanty Bay, on the northwest corner of
Line 2 South and Church Street
1 block south of Road 20

Coordinates: N 44 24.651 W 79 34.912


Plaque Text

This church is one of the few surviving structures in Ontario built of "rammed earth". This method of construction utilized wet clay mixed with chopped straw, compacted into forms and covered, when dry, with plaster or siding for protection against weather. Built in a plain, somewhat Romanesque style, the church was begun in 1838 and largely completed by 1841, although not officially opened until February 27, 1842. Lieutenant-Colonel Edward O'Brien, leading member of the Shanty Bay settlement, donated the church site and clergyman's residence, and directed the construction of the church. He and his wife, Mary Sophia, are buried in the adjacent cemetery. The Reverend S. B. Ardagh served as rector from 1842 to 1867.



Oro-Medonte Plaques

Here are the visitors' comments for this page.

> Posted January 9, 2011
I am a descendant of Mary Campbell, daughter of Janet McQuaig & John Campbell whose sons were the carpenters of this building along with their brother-in-law Alexander Graham, all parties originally from Islay Scotland. Mary worked as a maid for someone in Shanty Bay at the time of her marriage, possibly Col. O'Brien? My grandfather, Alex Graham 4, Mary Campbell's grandson claimed that the Campbell Brothers & Alex Graham 1 worked in Barrie building one of the first houses. There is an excellent record of the Campbell Clan in Oro prepared by Norman McQuaig Campbell in the archives of the Barrie library.
James A Graham

> Posted April 22, 2009
According to the book, "The Pioneer Papers" by George Sneath, the church was built by John McCausland of Barrie. I personally cannot confirm the history, but just relaying what I found. If someone else knows for sure, please let us know.
M. Gedge

> Posted December 9, 2008
I am doing a school project related to family history. I believe this church was built by my great grandfather and his brother and I have a picture of it in my home. The brothers were Campbells, sons of Janet Campbell from Port Ellen, Islay, Scotland. (Alec and Archibald I think.)
Amy Campbell Knight

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