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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Trinity United Church Omemee Celebrates 175 Years This Morning

From Log Cabin to Computerized Carillon Bicentennial of Changes

Trinity United Church, Omemee, Ontario, has come a long way from its early logcain services to its present day accoutrements which include a computerized Carillon ,and wheelchair lift. Although Trinity turns 175 May 14th, the congregation is celebrating its anniversary this morning in a combined service with Bethel United Church followed by a potluck luncheon.

Trinity United Church, at the crossroads of King, and Sturgeon Streets, occupies a unique location and benefits the whole community. Trinity United Church has been a meeting place for countless groups over its almost two centuries of service.The only church in the village with a wheelchair lift, Trinity United’s accessibility makes it an ideal location for the Community Care Seniors’ Day Program. Other groups which use meeting space at Trinity United include the Ontario Early Years Outreach Program, and the Omemee and District Horticultural Society.

Forbes McEwan, local resident, and member of Trinity United Church has written historical review of the church, in celebration of the Omemee church's 175th anniversary.Here are some notes on the review by Ben Clarke, which was featured in Kawartha Lakes This Week:

According to Mr. McEwan's review, prior to 1836, the Wesleyans in Omemee held preaching services in private homes before a log school house on Sturgeon St. South was used.

Work began on the rectangular, clapboard building which was set on cedar posts foundation with a square tower at the front doorway. A lofty eight-sided spire was added to the church tower in 1861.

A graveyard with many old fashioned marble headstones surrounded the church; but, the ground was full of underground springs and unsuitable for burials. It was not unusual at the time to have a coffin weighted with stones to keep it from floating, Mr. McEwan.

Burials in the church yard were discontinued with the opening of Emily Cemetery and most of the remains and tombstones were transferred there.

The cornerstone for the new church was as laid on July 13, 1876. The new building was constructed in five months and was opened on December 10 of that same year.

The new church had a stone foundation and included a basement Sunday school and a fifty-foot, eight-sided spire.

The original church bell was placed in the spacious chamber at the top of the tower, which had three large louvred openings. From this height the old bell could be heard for miles.

In the summer of 1905, Mr. McEwan's review notes, an alcove was built at the south end of the church for the accommodation of the choir and organ. Two years later, Mr. And Mrs. J.C. Eaton (later Sir John and Lady Eaton) donated a pipe organ. In 1953, the church was given 10 memorial stained glass windows based on the Life of Christ.

By the mid-1980s, the church needed upgrades, including improved kitchen facilities, and in 1992, rooms for a Sunday school, nursery and office. The additional improvements cost $370,000 with $60,000 in a grant from the United Church of Canada and a $25,000 Provincial grant for the elevator. The remaining debt took only eight years to pay off.

A new street clock was erected in 2009, which featured a computer operated Carillon System capable of playing 700 songs over the tower speaker. Funding was provided by church members, community support, the City of Kawartha Lakes, Omemee Hydro Trust Fund and the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

.Omemee Pigeon eFlyer wishes to congratulate Trinity United Church on their 175th Anniversary. We hope to have the privilege of offering Mr.McEwan's historical review of Trinity United Church in its entirety in the near future. Trinity United Church 6 King Street West, Omemee, Ontario is located by the only set of traffic lights in the village of Omemee.

Resources Accessed May 1st, 2011

Omemee church celebrates 175 years of history by By Ben Clarke, Special to This Week
Trinity United Church Hosts Monthly Potlucks Omemee Pigeon eFlyer

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