1883 was the first recorded church activity in Braeside when John T. Waite, his wife, and Miss McCredie moved to the settlement from Arnprior and set up a Sabbath school in their house. This only lasted a short time, after which the children had to go to Sand Point. In 1885, Mrs. J.S. Gillies visited her son, John Gillies who was running the Gillies' Bros. Mill, and noticed children running aimlessly about on the Sabbath day. She convinced Rev. D.J. MacLean in Arnprior to begin religious instruction and services in Braeside on the Sabbath day. Rev. D.J. MacLean organized a Sunday School and church services in Braeside beginning in that year, held in the old school. He ministered there until 1904.
On the 9th of May 1901, a building committee composed of Messrs. William Douglas, A. N. McKinnon, Donald Carmichael, A. E. Derenzy, J.S. Gillies and Mr. McLaren met at the house of J.S. Gillies at 7:30 p.m. After appointing J.S. Gillies as chairman and Mr. McLaren as secretary, the committee resolved to prepare architectural plans and to canvass the congregation for donations in order to erect a Presbyterian Church in Braeside.
The church was officially opened April 20 1902, less than a year after that first building committee meeting. The Arnprior Chronicle reported that, "Sunday, April 20th, in the present year will be a memorable one in the annals of Braeside, for on that day the pretty little church built by the Presbyterians of this place was opened for worship. There were three services: morning, afternoon and evening. The Rev, D. Strachan, Brockville, was sermonizer. Beside him was the venerable Pastor, Rev. D. J. MacLean of Arnprior, who had been coming to this place as pastor for two and twenty years."
In 1904 the church was organized into an ordained mission field along with Sand Point and Dewar's Settlement, and in 1907 it became a regular pastoral charge. Electric lights were installed in the church and manse by the Ladies' Aid Society in 1921.
Until 1925, the church operated as Braeside Presbyterian Church. After a vote in favour of the union of the Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregational Church in Canada, the church became the Braeside United Church. Within its Pastoral Charge were the United Churches of Castleford and Glasgow.
In 1952 the church celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. At this time the basement had been finished which made more room available for Sunday School and other social activities of the congregation. The Gillies Bros. donated an electric organ to the church three years later, replacing its original pump organ from 1902.
The old vestry was torn down in 1960 and a new one built, thanks to donations raised by the Women's Association and church members.
Many committees and groups were formed over the years, most of them for children and youth. Organizations such as the Messengers, Canadian Girls In Training, Hi-C (for older girls), Young Peoples Union, the Mission Band, Jed's Juniors, the Braeside Organization of Determined Youth (B.O.D.Y.) and the Pre-Teen Youth Organization (P.T.Y.O.) were active in education, outreach and events.
Women's groups played a vital role in the success of the church. First the Ladies Aid, then the Women's Association (WA) and the Women's Missionary Society (WMS) in tandem were responsible for social activities, fundraising for home and abroad, and educational programs. In 1962, the WA and the WMS merged to become the United Church Women.
Sunday School superintendents over the years were: Mr. Eric Burton (-1966), Mrs. Gladys Desjardins (1966-1972), Mrs. Marion Kewley (1972-1979) and Mrs. Marion Bethune (1979-1997)
Pastors at the church over the years were:
1885-1904 Rev. D.J. MacLean
1904-1907 Rev. William Moore
1908-1911 Rev. J. S. Dobbin
1911-1928 Re. James Taylor
1928-1937 Rev. J.F. McCurdy
1937-1941 Rev. H. Todd
1941-1946 Rev. G. A. Puttenham
1946-1950 Rev. R. G. Newman
1951-1957 Dr. P. de Jong
1958-1961 Rev. F. D. Mitchell
1961-1970 Rev. John Angus
1971-1977 Rev. C.E. Taft
1977-1989 Rev. D. Bauman
1989-1992 Rev. B. Burlock
1992-2015 Rev. R. Hollingsworth
Finances became an issue in Braeside United Church's later years, finally closing the church in 2016. In his notes in the 2016 Annual Report, Pastor Richard Hollingsworth wrote, "Yes, a giant oak tree has been "felled" in God's wonderful, lush green bush. But look, there are even now fresh shoots sprouting from its massive root system... Individually and collectively, our ministry is not dead, it is just taking new forms, which will be exciting to watch, enjoy, and even participate in enacting."
The church building and property was sold and is now owned privately, with an agreement in place that the historic exterior would be maintained and its interior enhanced.In 2017, after the close ofthe Braeside United Church, the pastoral charge was renamed the Glasgow-Castleford Pastoral Charge, and is still an active congregation of the United Church of Canada.
The records were in the care of Gordon Bethune, Church Elder. When the church disbanded in 2016 and the building was sold, Gordon Bethune, Church Elder, became their custodian. In 2018, the records were donated to the AMBA.
Scope and Content
This fonds consists of records that were created by the Braeside United Church and the Braeside pastoral charge which included the Castleford, Glasgow and Braeside United Churches. A description of each series and sub-series is provided at the series level in the database.
SERIES 1: Braeside United Church Records
SUBSERIES 1.1: Board and Committee records
SUBSERIES 1.2: Women’s Group records
SUBSERIES 1.3: Financial Records
SUBSERIES 1.4: Membership Rolls and Vital Records
SUBSERIES 1.5: Legal and Property Records
SERIES 2: Braeside Pastoral Charge Records (Braeside, Castleford and Glasgow United Churches)
SUBSERIES 2.1: Meeting Minutes & Annual Reports
SUBSERIES 2.2: Historic Rolls
SUBSERIES 2.3: Riverside Centre records
SUBSERIES 1.1: Board and Committee records, 1901-2016
This sub-series contains the records of the board of management, congregational meeting minutes and annual reports, the board of stewards meeting minutes and annual reports, council material, and miscellaneous material. The later annual reports and congregational meeting minutes include financial reports.
The records in this sub-series are as follows:
Board of Management Minute Book - 1901-1916
Board of Stewards minutes, financial statements and correspondence - 1978-1988
Annual reports and congregational meeting minutes - 1973-2016 with gaps.
File: Braeside Council
Includes material created by the United Church of Canada and sent to the Braeside Council. In the file is information on the church's response to their role in Indian Residential Schools and reconciliation efforts as well as fundraising for missions.
File: Miscellaneous material
Includes newspaper clippings on church activities and events, anniversary history booklets from 50th, 90th and 95th anniversaries, an invitation to the 95th anniversary celebration in 1997, a typed honour roll for WWI and WWII, maps of Braeside and a blank marriage service and certificate workbook.
SUBSERIES 1.2: Women’s Group records, 1926-1970 F17.2
When the United Church officially formed in 1925, the Woman's Association (WA, a later form of the Presbyterian Ladies' Aid) and the Woman's Missionary Society (WMS) were both already active. The WA focused on supporting the local church and community, while the WMS was involved with education and missionary work both locally and abroad.
In 1926, life members of the Woman's Missionary Society in Braeside were Mrs. McKinnon, Miss Armstrong, Mrs. Wm. Carmichael, Mrs. A. E. de Renzy, Mrs. J.S. Gillies; Mrs. R. M. Stewart, Mrs. Jas. Taylor, and Mrs. McTiernan. The President in 1927 was Mrs. J. S. Gillies. They donated reading material to children, the sick and the isolated, including the men in the remote Gillies Bros. lumber camps during the winters. A typical WMS meeting began with a prayer, followed by a synopsis of the latest issue of Women's Missionary Monthly and a talk on a national or international concern that the Women's Missionary Society was supporting.
The Woman's Association was tasked with practical duties within the community and fundraising, particularly for events held by the church and for repairs and renovations. They put on a successful annual social that raised money for the church.
The two organizations came together in January 1962 as the United Church Women (UCW). The new group's purpose was, "to unite women of the congregation for the total mission of the church and to provide a medium through which we may express our loyalty and devotion to Jesus Christ in Christian witness, study, fellowship and service."
Younger women also had a group to belong to. Canadian Girls in Training, or CGIT, is a church-based program for girls and young women aged 11–17 throughout Canada. Girls who join the CGIT vow to "Cherish Health, Seek Truth, Know God, Serve Others and thus, with [Jesus'] help, become the girl God would have me be".
Women’s Missionary Society Members Roll and Minute Book - April 1926 - Dec 1929
Women’s Missionary Society Members Roll and Minute Book - Jan 1930 - Nov 1933
Women’s Missionary Society Members Roll and Minute Book - Jan 1934 - Dec 1939
Women’s Missionary Society Members Roll and Minute Book - Jan 1940 - June 1945
Women’s Missionary Society Members Roll and Minute Book - Oct 1951 - Dec 1958
Women’s Missionary Society Members Roll and Minute Book - Jan 1959 - Dec 1961
Women’s Missionary Society Scrapbook - 1941
Women’s Missionary Society Scrapbook - 1942
Women’s Missionary Society Scrapbook - 1943
Women’s Missionary Society Scrapbook - 1946
Women's Association Accounts - 1939-1961
Women's Association meeting minutes - Oct 1949 - Dec 1952
Women's Association meeting minutes - Jan 1953 - Oct 1955
Women's Association meeting minutes - Dec 1955 - Feb 1958
Women's Association meeting minutes - Nov 1958 - Dec 1961
United Church Women minutes and roll call book - January 1962 - January 1964
United Church Women minutes and roll call book - January 1965 - June 1970
Canadian Girls In Training minutes and roll call book - Sept - Nov 1968
File of miscellaneous material, including documents issued by the Interim Board of Women of the United Church of Canada to provide guidance for meetings and programs, the program for the United Church Women’s Inaugural Service in January 1962, Slate of officers 1969, UCW Executive list for 1983, 1986 and 1992, and event invitations. Also included is a certificate of standard recognition for the Braeside Mission Band issued by the Woman’s Missionary Society.
SUBSERIES 1.3: Financial Records, 1913-1992
This sub-series consists of the financial and accounting records of the church. The records are as follows:
Braeside Presbyterian Church Sunday School Accounts - 1913
Braeside Presbyterian Church Treasurer's Book - 1918 - 1931
Braeside United Church Accounts Ledger - 1932 - 1954
Braeside United Church Weekly Offerings Book - 1929-1935
Braeside United Church Book of Remembrance for donations to the church - 1901- 1992
SUBSERIES 1.4: Membership Rolls and Vital Records, 1904-1993
Braeside United Church Marriage Register - 1976 - 1993
Braeside United Church Communion Roll & Register - 1904-1930
SUBSERIES 1.5: Legal and Property Records, 1982-1989
This sub-series consists of records pertaining to the built structure of the church and its diposition. The records are as follows:
File 1: Braeside United Church Extension 1982-1984
This file includes architectural drawings, building committee meeting minutes, correspondence and financial statements about the proposed building extension to the Braeside Church in 1982-1984. The building extension was not completed due to lack of funds.
File 2: Braeside United Church Insurance Policy 1986-1989
Peter Hessel is an author, journalist and translator by profession. He was instrumental in establishing the Arnprior & District Archives in 1993.
While conducting research for his book "McNab - The Township", Peter Hessel created many files which he donated to the ADA in 1994 along with other historical information about the Arnprior area. This formed the basis of the Peter Hessel collection. The collection expanded over time and continued to be added to on a regular basis as an "open" collection based on subject rather than provenance until Hessel's death in 2020.
Scope and Content
This series consists of many original documents and photographs as well as photocopied material and newspaper clippings pertaining to the history of Arnprior, McNab and Braeside. Files are organized by subject. Each file contains various items which are listed in the Scope and Content note for that particular file. See individual file level descriptions.
Further accruals are not expected
See also: Stewart Famco fonds, Accession #1999-0107
Showing buildings, wagon roads, CPR and yard tracks, and boundary lines of Gillies mills and yards. Lots 8 to 11, Conc. 13 & 14, McNab Twp. Pencilled additions, including piling area. Shows McLachlin Bros. & John Henderson land beside yard..
Basically identical to #008B & C plus pencilled additions