13875 Cty Rd 2, Colborne

Salem United Church, (1861)
Roll No. 1411-011-020-16700 – Cramahe Township Ontario

Country Church – Designated

Salem Church was built in 1861. The church is a simple frame structure commonly seen throughout Southern Ontario.


There are Gothic arched stained glass windows with decorative trim; there is original shiplap siding; a projected front entrance which houses the front door (which is not original) with a Gothic arched transom and a balcony arched window. The front facade of the building has an arched window on either side of the projecting front entrance. There are returning eaves with detailed trim. There is a stone foundation.


There is a choir loft in its original location which has been enlarged and the railing removed in the early 1900s. The original pews are very decorative wood with cast iron on the ends; there are two end set of pews and a central set. There are two 8 paneled doors which close off the front entrance (with paneled ends) fielded panels on one side and molded panels on the opposite side. There is wainscoting; a hanging bible cupboard; two turned balcony supporting posts; and a set of stairs on either side of the church leading to the balcony. Two of the three balcony pews with paneled ends are original. The open projecting front with arched window in the upper balcony is where the church bells are rung.

The front entrance is six sided and LACAC (of the day) has pictures of the original spire.

A restoration project which rebuilt the spire, repainted in the original colour, fixed the roof etc. took place in the late 1970s.

History or Associative Value

Salem Church was the first building in Cramahe Township to be designated as an historical structure under the Ontario Heritage Act. I 1860, a number of supporters of Methodism contributed enough funds to start building the Salem Church. Thomas and Aurilla Webb sold one acre of land for the consideration of $20.00 to the Salem Trustees i 1861. Salem United Church was recommended for designation in 1979 because of its architecture, history and contribution to the community for 154 years.

Additional Historical and Genealogical Information

Although almost certainly farmed at an earlier date, Lot 21 of Concession 1 wasn’t officially granted by the Crown until 3 January 1828, when it went to King’s College, which had come into existence less than a year earlier. Its name would become the University of Toronto in 1849. On the same date the crown granted Lots 5, 11, 28, and 34 in the Broken Front Concession; 5, 11, 28, and 34 in Concession 1; 3, part of 9, 24, and 30 in Concession 2; 21, 28, and 34 in Concession 3; 24 and 34 in Concession 4; 5 in Concession 5; 16 in Concession 6; 5 and 11 in Concession 7; 3 in Concession 8; and 8 and 11 in Concession 9 to King’s College as well. This totals somewhere in the neighbourhood of 2200 acres.

On 18 July 1860 the University of Toronto sold 1 acre in the northwestern corner of Lot 21 to Thomas Webb (1791-?), farmer. Webb was an immigrant from Ireland. He was married to Aurillia Gardineer (ca. 1801-?) and had seven children: William Wilson (1826-1894), Henry Trent (1834-1883), Thomas (1835-?), James G. (1837-?), Adam Clark (1839-?) and Eliza Ann (1831-1914). Eliza married prominent Colborne businessman Daniel Lewis Simmons (1830-1915).

On 30 July 1861, a year after purchasing the property, Webb sold it to the trustees of the Salem Wesleyan Methodist Church. These trustees were William Jaques (1808-1875), John Turney (1821-1906), Joseph Jaques (1821-1875), Isaac Gould (1803-1879), Ira Brown (1835-1901), William Brown (1833-?), and Stephen Turney (1800-1879).

“How Firm a Foundation” (Argyris 2000) indicates that the church now sitting on the property was erected in 1861.


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