139 King Street East, Colborne

Colborne Baptist Church (1834)
Roll No. 1411-012-030-12400-0000 – Cramahe Township Ontario

Gothic Revival Church

The history of the Colborne Baptist Church is believed to have started in Salem, some three miles East of Colborne. The date when the Baptist Church was built there is believed to have been about 1834, which date is subject to correction a year or two either way. It was one of the first churches in this part of the county, and while belonging to the Baptists, it was also used by the Methodists.

The two denominations could not agree in spite of the fact that most of the members of each church were related and neighbours. Sometimes the Methodists disrupted the services and sometimes the Baptists locked the door and wouldn’t let the Methodists in for services. The Methodists built a brick church in 1862 (1 Church Street East) and the Baptists sold the Salem building to the community in 1877 for use as a school house. The new Baptist Church was erected on land given by Reuben Crandall and was opened for worship on July 19th 1881.

The first minister was the Rev. Mr. Dowling, who, besides being a preacher, was an excellent artist.
Several of his paintings perished in the fire which destroyed Kelwood, the mansion built by Joseph
Keeler north of Colborne. Some of the paintings are preserved in the Masonic lodge in Colborne and are highly prized by the members of that organization. One of the other gifted ministers of this congregation was the Rev. Thos. Watson, who had a ministry here for eleven years at the beginning of the Twentieth century. The Colborne church was linked to the Baptist church in Wicklow. Rev. Watson composed a book of poems, the poetry was about people he knew and current events. He wrote verses for the newspapers, and many of them were set to music and used as solos or choir numbers.

History or Associative Value

An inability to get along in a shared space, caused the Methodist and Baptist congregations of the early 1800s to build the (now closed) United Church at 1 Church Street East in Colborne and the (now closed) Baptist church at 139 King Street East, Colborne. Both buildings are substantial structures and both are in private hands today.

Additional Historical and Genealogical Information

Baptist Church, 139 King Street East, Colborne Cramahe Township, Concession 2, Lot 29 Reid Lot 183

Lot 29 of Concession 2 was granted by the Crown to Palmer Crandell (1772-1856) on 9 October 1810. Aside from a few small properties, the majority of the southern half of this Lot were transferred to his son Reuben A. Crandell (1816-1903) on 28 August 1847. Reuben Crandell provided 1 acre facing on King Street East to the Baptist Church on 2 August 1882.

The first Baptist Church in Cramahe Township was constructed in Salem in 1836. It was originally used by both the Methodists and Baptists. These denominations apparently didn’t always see eye to eye, and the Methodists shifted to the new Salem Methodist Church when it was constructed in 1861. The Baptists retained the 1836 Church until they built a new church on the property obtained from Reuben Crandell in 1882.

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