Bonshaw United Baptist Church

Title

Bonshaw United Baptist Church

Church Name

Bonshaw United Baptist Church

Church Association

Prince Edward Island Association

Province

Prince Edward Island

County

Queens County

Address

17060 Trans-Canada Highway, Bonshaw, PEI

Status

Active

Date

Built 1893

Historical Information

On December 15th, 1891, a group of residents of Bonshaw met to discuss the need for a Baptist church. At this meeting the letter was drawn up, listing the individuals who wished to organize a new church. This letter was submitted to the church authorities who agreed that the new church would be supported. On 20 January 1893, a meeting of the church elders was held because of “the necessity of having a house of their own in which to worship”. The elders unanimously agreed to proceed to build the church structure at once. A building committee was formed containing five members that were mainly deacons of the church. In May, 1893, a building fund had reached the amount of $90 and the building project commenced shortly thereafter. On 5 November, the same year, the new church was dedicated. “It was a beautiful day after a rainy night, and at 10:30 AM the morning service found the building filled to overflowing.” The exact cost of building the structure is not known, but the building fund had reached a total amount of $104 by the time of the church opening. Both the Clyde River Baptist Church and Bonshaw Baptist Church were built in 1893, by the same architect and builders. The similarity between the two structures is very strong, and was even stronger prior to Clyde River changing the windows on the front façade from two smaller windows to the window presently there (2021). Photo 1, which was taken shortly after construction, is almost identical to the Bonshaw Baptist Church. This building is a rather plain wood frame construction that originally had two slender windows on the gable end and a small entrance room on the right side. The two slender windows have now been replaced with a large, ornate piece of stain glass. The Bonshaw Baptist Church is ideally positioned in the landscape, situated in a manmade hollow. Prior to the large modern highway going through the community, the church was almost level with the road and has many vantage points where you could see the structure as you were coming up the road. Although this highway hides the building now it does not take away from the historical significance to this building, which is a prime example of modern development being mindful of local built heritage. This building maintains many of its original features on the interior and exterior and is built in the meeting house style, common among the Baptist congregations in the mid to late nineteenth century. What is unique about this building that sets it apart from others built in the meeting house style is the amount of architectural detailings present, that are not usually found on buildings of this style. Everywhere one looks on this building one finds more and more architectural embellishments in the woodwork. One feature that is unique to this building is the open eaves and the gingerbread boards found underneath these eaves.

Information provided by the Bonshaw Baptist Church.

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Citation

“Bonshaw United Baptist Church,” Atlantic Baptist Built Heritage Project , accessed April 14, 2024, https://atlanticbaptistheritage.omeka.net/items/show/280.

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