Built between 1820-23, the Harbour Grace Methodist Church replaced John Stretton’s first Methodist church, built on the hillside which now bears his name. Following the accepted style of architecture, the church was patterned in a similar fashion to other Wesleyan structures in Newfoundland during that time. It was 50 feet long and 40 feet wide, with eastern, western and southern galleries; the southern gallery was for the choir. Though the church lacked an organ, for many years the choir was commended for its unique musical talent. Noted for its comfortable pews and neatness, the church could seat 450 people.
In 1849 the roof had been shingled, the building painted inside and out. Due to these needed repairs, the church was £100 in debt and carried no insurance. On February 7, 1850, in the midst of a severe winter, the Harbour Grace Methodist Church was destroyed by fire. Through the goodwill of the Board of Works and Sheriff George Gaden, church service continued at the courthouse for the rest of 1850.
This post is part of the Harbour Grace Notebook series. Follow the updates on social media with the hashtag #hgnotebook.
Picture source: Pictorial Harbour Grace: Souvenir Guy Ter-Centenary Celebration (1910).