It has stood at 83 Essex Street Guelph since its base stones were set in late June 1880. Its cornerstone was set on September 17 1880 as recorded in the Guelph Mercury and Advertiser. The contents of the cornerstone were described in that article, "Copy of the Holy Scriptures, Hymn Book of the BME Church, copy of the Missionary Messenger - the organ of the church; and copies of the Mercury and Herald." Presumably, the contents had already been placed inside a tin box, hermetically sealed and then painted over before being placed in a carved-out section of the cornerstone, then covered with sand and mortared under the stone above it. The Mercury report noted that the structure was already twelve feet high, with half the basement four feet in the ground and the other four feet above it. The base stones of the church could well be mortared directly onto the same ridge of limestone that extends across the road to where the ground drops behind the southside homes and into a remnant of the quarry from which many of the nearby stone houses had also come. The Guelph BME was, by the 1880's, one of the last stone structures erected in the neighbourhood. The quarry had been owned by the man who had been awarded the contract to raise the church, William Slater, listed in the 1881 city directory as a stone cutter.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Brock Monument, Queenston Heights nothing of black role

I was on the Queenston Heights yesterday, looking at the impressive monument built in the 1850s, replacing the original (destroyed in 1840)  built in 1824 to honour the War of 1812 death of General Isaac Brock. Fittingly, monuments have been added to acknowledge the role of First Nations in that fateful battle. What is decidedly lack is recognition of the Coloured Corps.

In 1824, when Brock's body was moved from the grave he was put in when he died, and taken up for burial in the crypt at that the base of the monument, 6 members of the Coloured Corp, walking behind the hearse carrying the body, and leading a white horse, were part of the honour guard. Their names seem impossible to find.

Richard Pierpoint, who settled brief in the Fergus area before the creation of the village, was almost certainly one of them, since he was the man who proposed the creation of the corp to Brock.

Who were the other five?

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cover for Laying the Bed

cover for Laying the Bed
designed by Brenan Pangborn