Knox Presbyterian Church
Ross Ferry Road
Knox served the Presbyterian populations of the Southside of Boularderie Island, as well as the Ross Ferry area. It is a fixture in our community, along with its sister church St. James. They were the first churches constructed in the area, and are the oldest standing public buildings on the Island. Knox Presbyterian is also associated with the oldest cemetery on Boularderie Island. Man Of War has been the burying ground for the congregation at Ross Ferry. It is not known, however, the exact date of the first burial. Tradition states that the death of a man from Kempt Head resulted in the selection of that spot for burial. It is a peaceful place, with old marble headstones, some which were carved by local stone masons. The most recent burial was in 2005, with many of the old families of the area having family plots in the cemetery. In 1954 land was given to open the MacDonald cemetery which is located closer to the church. On May 31, 1984 people were gathering to welcome the new minister from Englishtown. The congregation was filling in upstairs, there was a meeting taking place down stairs as well. As the church continued to fill, a parishioner remarked that the floor seemed to be listing, at 7:15 the floor in the church collapsed sending the congregation into the basement onto the meeting below. Although 20 people sustained injuries, miraculously no one was killed. It was only by luck that a broken light bulb had forced the meeting into another room. Otherwise they would have been directly under the massive piece of floor that fell into the basement. The floor was rebuilt, and the church re-opened on December 17, 1989, with a special service held in May of 1990 remembering the accident.
The shingle clad church is a wonderful example of Gothic revival, with Neo-Classical suggestion. It features 3 lancets on the front and 5 on the other side. Original gothic windows, with 3 part transoms as well as the doors and windows feature hoods and outwardly flaring stops at the bottom. The circular window is set off by flat moldings and key stones at four points.
Situated in a hollow along the shores of the Bras d’Or Lakes is Knox Presbyterian Church. Built in 1886 by John Old of Big Bras d’Or, who was a master ship builder and carpenter, Knox Presbyterian Church is an excellent example of Gothic architecture with Neo-Classical leanings. Like its sister church St. James, it features beautiful stained glass and much of the interior that was built in 1886 is original. Its spire was replaced in 1949 after a wind storm damaged the original.
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