St. Joachim's Church
Kempt Head Road

A tiny church capable of holding only 110 people, St. Joachim’s features a steep gable roof with return eaves. There is a central square tower on the church; the original 12/9 double hung windows were replaced with vinyl replicas, as was the door and the original shingle cladding. According to the information at the Registry of Deeds in Baddeck, the land was originally owned by Alexander O’Handly and was purchased by the Roman Catholic Corporation of Arichat in 1878 for fourteen dollars. The church was opened in 1897. Little is known about the history of this building as some of the early church records associated with it were destroyed by fire in the early part of the 20th century. Prior to the opening of the cemetery, catholic residents of Southside Boularderie were buried at Macintyre’s farm in Big Bank. Some of the earliest settlers are buried here and like most early cemeteries, only a handful of the early markers remain. Those not buried in Boularderie were taken by boat in the summer or by sleigh in the winter across the Bras d’Or to be buried in Boisdale in the parish cemetery at St. Andrews. The interior of the church was changed in the late 1980’s, and since then many improvements to the building and the grounds have taken place. In recent months the congregation has worked to expand the cemetery. After clearing some land on the eastern side of the church, workers found what they think to be unmarked graves. Local residents remember many more wooden crosses in the cemetery than there are today, with some more sleuthing we may be able to present a more complete history of St. Joachim’s.

Architectural Comment

Neo-Classical in design, St. Joachim's Church has a steep gable roof with return eaves. It has 12/9 panes on six windows, with the windows flanking the door being 9/6. (replaced) The tower is central square, with a slender bell tower. This is original to the church.

Contextual Comment

Located on the Kempt Head Road in Southside Boularderie, St. Joachim’s Catholic Church is set against the back drop of Island Point and the Bras d’Or Lakes. Built in 1897, this tiny Neo-Classical Church has been a fixture of the community for close to 110 years.

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