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I was wondering if someone at the museum might know details about the church´s rebuilding in 1840. (originally built c. 1775 in Maugerville). There seems to be a dearth of solid info on questions like: why was it rebuilt ? How closely does it resemble the 1775 church ? Was the original structure simply remodeled, or was it built from scratch in 1840 ? How much of the original church, if anything, got re-used in the rebuild ??
Any details would be greatly appreciated.
One of my board members responded with the following:
“I was put in touch with someone who had the following information.
The original church was built in Maugerville in 1775. It could seat 500 people. It was decided to move the building to Sheffield in 1789 (100 oxen needed). The building deteriorated so they decided to rebuild in 1840, salvaging what they could use from the original building. It is not an exact replica but it does incorporate some of the original design. It was dedicated in 1842.”
Reply from Mark:
“I guess what I was really asking was whether the Sheffield church was essentially a 1775 building that was slightly remodelled, or, an 1840 structure that merely used some fragments from the previous church. The answer to that question is of great importance to NB b/c there are only two 18th c. churches in the whole province(as far as <I know). And it would be the only pre-Revolutionary church in the province (and one of the few extant pre-Revolutionary buildings in NB, period.). I wonder if there was ever any dendrochronology done on the church ? And I wonder just how much of the original church was used in the 1840 rendition?
I did read the book mentioned in one of your emails (John Leroux – about a year or two ago). My memory is fading on that book but I seem to remember the author using the word remodelled when he described the church. The use of the word “remodelled” is a bit unfortunate in that the reader is still left trying to figure out what that really means – hence my questions about the crux of the church’s origins. To me, “remodelled” seems like a term used to signify relatively minor changes, and not a total rebuilding of something.
I look forward to learning more about the built heritage of NB, and >I am especially interested in any surviving pre-Loyalist heritage that still may exist. “