Meadow Bank History: Church

Here is our fourth excerpt from The Meadow Bank W.I. Tweedsmuir History in 1951 written by Mrs. Charles Hyde.

Cornwall Methodist Church 1855-1902 – Photo from Lawson Drake

The people of early Meadow Bank were for the most part Protestants and divine worship was held in some of the houses in winter and barns in summer. At a quarterly meeting held in the Mission House in the city of Charlottetown August 1818, the following question was asked, “What measures shall we adopt for the prosperity of the work of God?” to which was given the following answer to which dates the beginning of Methodistism in this part of the country. “That there be preaching, exhortation or prayer meeting at Little York and West River services held in the house of William Crosby in the winter and in the summer his barn be used.” The first preacher was Mr. Chappelle. Services were continued until some years later a lot was secured at Cornwall and a log building erected which served the people until 1955 when a large frame building was built. This stood until April 1902 when it was torn down to give place to the present church (as of 1951).


Church built in 1901

The land where the Cornwall Church now stands was obtained through a Government Grant for a Church of England. As there were no English church people here the Methodists obtained it. Smith Bros. built the first church. The first minister there was Rev. Robert Strong with first sexton, Mrs. John Corbin. Mr. Zachariah Mayhew presented the tunes as in those days there was no organ or choir.

In the present church is a panel window on the south side in memory of Mary Ellen Crosby (January 7, 1824 – August 2, 1901) wife of Mr. Theophilus Crosby.

John Crosby was one of the first residents of Meadow Bank to use a driving wagon to convey his family to church. This was in the year 1878.

The first Meadow Bank resident to use an automobile to travel to church at Cornwall was Mr. Frederick Hyde.

The nearest buying ground was one in Charlottetown belonging to the Church of England. It is supposed that the earliest settlers were buried there for we know that upon one occasion when a death occurred during a stormy time in winter the trip to Charlottetown could not be made for over a week. Due to this inconvenient state of affairs, land for a burying ground was donated by Messrs. Hyde and Crosby. Although a cemetery was later started at Cornwall, this plot continues to be the burial place of Hydes and Crosbys.

Editor’s notes:

  • To view photos and read more history on the church in Cornwall, click here.
  • To view current photos and learn more about the West River United Church website, click here.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.