Cumberland’s Built Heritage

Compiled by Laurie A. Glenn – Rose Union Church

COLLINGWOOD-Church architecture is a highlight of this country’s built heritage. Cumberland can boast of a variety of designs for its houses of worship, from the grandeur of gothic and classical influences to the simple meeting house structure. An example of the latter is the Rose Union Church at Rose, a tiny hamlet approximately 22 km east of Collingwood. Sad to relate, this structure is slated to be dismantled and moved off site sometime this year. Like many buildings in isolated locations in this country, it has fallen victim to the lack of human and financial resources willing and able to ensure its upkeep. Churches are particularly susceptible to this problem as families move away from small communities and congregations dwindle.

The Rose Union Church was built circa 1890 by Alex Colborne of Collingwood and was officially named on July 7, 1891. It housed two congregations, that of the Methodists of River Philip and the Presbyterians of Londonderry. It is the second house of worship built on this site. Its predecessor was constructed in 1830 and because of the growth of the population, the present, larger church was built sixty years later. Its function extended beyond that of Christian worship, because of the burning of the local school in 1927 it was pressed into service as a place of learning until 1936. Church Services were held on a regular basis until 1958 and Sunday School was conducted there until 1962.

Reminiscent of the Quaker meeting house style which was popular with both the Baptist and United Church denominations in Hants, Colchester and Cumberland Counties in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the building possesses gothic style windows and pilasters at each corner. It is of wood frame construction with its original clapboards. The medium pitched gable roof boasts simple decorative trim. Its unpretentious style is typical of the maritime vernacular architecture that has been built by Cumberland residents since settlement and which continues to this day.

The Rose Union Church is fortunate that for a number of years two area individuals have being caretakers of both its physical welfare and history. Beryl and Raymond Halliday are responsible for keeping the memory of the churches’ past alive and instrumental in maintaining the exterior and interior of the building. They are to be commended for their concern and dedication.

I highly recommend a Sunday drive to view the Rose Union Church. Take your camera and document the church in its original setting. Too many of Cumberland’s buildings have been allowed to disappear without notice. Let’s be sure this does not happen to the Rose Union Church.

Further information regarding the Rose Union Church can be obtained from the following sources:

“History of The Rose Church” by Beryl Halliday. An unpublished manuscript in the collection of the Cumberland County Museum, Amherst. accession #91-239.
Reminiscences By Rev. Clarance MacKinnon 1938. Library call #921 Mack.
The Tale of Two Centuries published by the Truro Presbytery 1993 Library Cal #287 716 TAL.
The Rose Union Church was featured in the 1993 edition of the Cumberland Historical calendar published by the Amherst Township Historical Society.

Individuals and organizations interested in the history of homes or public buildings or in any aspect of Municipal Heritage Designation or the Heritage Act in general, please contact Laurie A. Glenn, Historical Researcher at the E.D. Fullerton Building in Upper Nappan at P.O. Box 428, Amherst, N.S. B4H 3Z5 or phone 667-2313.

(Source: The Citizen, Saturday, June 11, 1994, – Cumberland’s Built Heritage – Compiled by Laurie A. Glenn – Rose Union Church)