340 Morganston Road, Morganston
Roll No. 1411-011-040-05800 – Cramahe Township Ontario
Cramahe Hill Christian Church
This stately “pioneer” church has stood on a hill in the hamlet of Morganston since 1864. It has long been closed for other than decoration day in the cemetery, but it has been meticulously maintained as is the adjacent cemetery. The names in that cemetery tell a tale of the very early settlers in this area.
Church congregations in Morganston were perhaps, as was often the case, meeting in homes and community halls etc, until a church structure was built.
The church is clapboard, unadorned in the simplest possible style, its construction almost identical to several others that still stand in Cramahe Township. (see the Shiloh Church)
History or Associative Value
The owner of this “pioneer” church is the Canada Christian Conference according to land registry documents and it was built in 1864. Illuminating are the minutes of the 1830 and 1831 Upper Canada Christian Conference as the Elders set up the infrastructure for the various churches in the Conference area. Minutes from 1824 to 1922 show the ebb and flow of the number of Christian churches in Upper Canada and the changes in church structure and affiliation such as with the Methodists.
Additional Historical and Genealogical Information
340 Highway 27, Morganston, Ontario Cramahe Township, Concession 9, Lot 14
The entire 200 acres of Concession 9, Lot 13 were granted to Guisbert Sharp (1741-1819) of Ernesttown in Lennox County on 25 January 1806. There is no evidence he ever lived in Cramahe Township. On 7 June 1815 Sharp sold all 200 acres to Abraham Van Wicklen (1787-?), who did live in the Township. He appears in Cramahe censuses from 1809 through 1842. He was presumably a farmer and was married to Elizabeth Carr (1788-?) and appears to have had six children: Polly (1807-1832), Joseph (1814-1882), David (1815-?), Phoebe (1819-?) and Gilbert (1826-1909).
On 2 December 1821 Van Wicklen sold the 200 acres to Jacob Samuel Dingman (1785-1864), another Cramahe farmer. Dingman’s wife was Abigail (surname unknown, 1791-1874) and his children were John (1812-1887), Didianna (1815-1890), Mary (1819-1897), Garrett B. (1819-1887), Ellen (1823-1911), Jacob Jered (1827-1876), Sarah (1829-1901), and Abigail (1832-1911).
Although either Van Wicklen or Dingman may have been resident on the property, they were not occupants of the building that now stands at 340 Highway 27. It is a church and was built as one in 1884. On 12 January 1875 Jacob Dingman’s heirs sold (for $1) the 2 acres on which it stands to the “Canada Christian Conference”. Dingman’s children were generally listed as “Christian” in the censuses of the time. This probably refers to the Evangelical Christian Church, otherwise known as the Christian Disciples.