Meeting House – Belledune

The building, most of what you see today, was “The Jacquet River Sunday School” and was first called “The Meeting House“. It had it’s beginning in the early 1860’s. 

A constitution was drawn up expressing the purpose of the building, as follows: 

  • to increase the knowledge of the Bible among the people in the vicinity 
  • to maintain a house of worship where all denominations could meet together 
  • to preserve a cemetery for the use of families connected with this organization

The land for the building and cemetery was donated by Mr. & Mrs. Michael Turvey. The building was finally completed and was dedicated in 1868. 

Jacquet River Sunday School Meeting House

In 1911 the building underwent extensive repairs and a woodshed was added. It was rededicated at a service held by Rev. J. M. McLeod. 

Jacquet River Sunday School Meeting House

The building and cemetery was placed “in trust” to Dr. Ellis and Mr. Alex Turvey, Mr. Ernest McNail and their successors. After the death of these three, the building and cemetery was turned over to “The New Mills Cemetery Association” by their successors. Many local area persons served as Superintendents over the years. 

In 1970 the house and cemetery underwent another extensive uplift by local volunteers. All the rose bushes were cleared away from the cemetery, the original pews, lectern, dais and the Sunday School chairs were saved and replaced. 

Finally on July 28, 2002, the Sunday School was brought up to its 1861 original condition and was rededicated by Rev. Victor Downs. 

Jacquet River Sunday School Meeting House

A Red Cross Society was formed in Jacquet River during the Second World War. 

The ladies involved were from the same congregation attending the “Sunday ‘School ” in Jacquet River. 

In order to raise money for the Red Cross cause, the ladies made some 100 quilts from discarded clothes by this small group of women. The ladies decided to make “a real Red Cross Quilt” using turkey red cotton on a white background for the crosses which were sewn in a block. Children were glad to take the blocks and collect names at ten cents each as their share of the work. Then the names were written in the blocks, some 500 names were collected. The names were written in indelible ink, like spokes in a wheel adorning the white Squares. The coverlet had been quilted during the Red Cross meetings, then bound.

Now it was ready for it’s journey across the ocean to bring comfort and amusement to the patients at an overseas hospital. Imagine some wounded and homesick boy from Jacquet River or vicinity finding the quilt on his bed! How he would pour over these familiar names thus shortening his weary hours. 

The search is on to locate this quilt and hang it in the Sunday School. 

Resource: Mr. Allan Roy of Belledune provided us with this history and several photos of the building. 

Click on a thumbnail to see more pictures. 

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