Churches and cemeteries play an integral role in the settlement of communities, faith and worship. The historic churches and cemeteries in our area are listed below.
Port Burwell Trinity Anglican
Church and Cemetery
25 Pitt Street, Port Burwell
This historic church, built in 1836 by Colonel Mahlon Burwell, is known for its warm atmosphere and beautiful stained glass windows. Many of the early pioneers are buried in the cemetery.
The earliest recorded burial was 1818. Many pioneers died during an epidemic that raged through the village in 1878, including many at a tender young age. Weekly services are available to the public. Provincial plaque on site.
Old St. Thomas Church and Cemetery
55 Walnut Street, St. Thomas
The Old St. Thomas Church was built in 1824 and was used for regular worship of area pioneers from 1824 to 1877. It is a brick construction typical of early pioneers, with lancete windows and a castellated tower on which sits a spire.
The building continues to be used for public worship and tours during the summer months. The church is surrounded by the pioneer cemetery where most of the early settlers and their descendants are buried. Provincial plaque on site.
St. Paul’s United Church
5 Queen St. Aylmer, ONN5H 2W2
Aaron Price came to Aylmer in 1840 and started a Methodist church service in 1845. In 1873 a place of worship was needed because the congregation had grown a great deal since 1845. Construction started in 1873 and modifications continued for many years afterwards.
Quaker Meeting House
6387 Quaker Road, Sparta
The Quaker Meeting House was the third meeting house built in 1865 in the village of Sparta. The first two were built at the Quaker Cemetery, but this colonial style meeting house was built on the current site as many Quakers had settled to the north of the village.
St. Peter’s Anglican Church and Cemetery
(Colonel Talbot’s grave)
29596 Lakeview Line, Wallacetown
St. Peter’s is one of the oldest churches in Southwestern Ontario. Opened in 1827, it is one of two churches west of Niagara Falls to have been in use for over 175 years.
It was erected by the first settlers of Tyrconnell on 10 acres of land donated by Mary Storey. The spire and belfry were added in 1845 by Edward Matthews of London. It has come a long way from when the carpenters work bench was used as a pulpit. Provincial plaque on site.
Aylmer Baptist Church
153 John St. Aylmer, ON N5H 2C4
The Aylmer Baptist church was founded in 1816 making it one of the oldest churches in the area. The current building was constructed in 1871.
283 Colborne St. Port Stanley, ON N5L 1B3
Lieutenant-Colonel John Bostwick settled in Port Stanley and set aside land for a church in 1826. A congregation started in 1834, but the church building was not completed until 1845. Colonel John Bostwick and his family were buried in the churchyard.
Aylmer Trinity Anglican Church
170 John St. N Aylmer, ON N5H 2A9
In 1842 plans to build an Aylmer Anglican Church were made, but it was not until 1861 that a white, wooden church was opened for worship on Water street in Aylmer. Anglicans worshipped at this location for just over 20 years. In 1885 they moved from that church to the newly-built and since-vacated Methodist Episcopalian Church on John St. North.
St. John’s Presbyterian Church
238 Colborne St. Port Stanley, ON N5L 1C1
This is one of the oldest churches in Elgin County. It was built in 1852 and in 1870 was purchased by the Presbyterians. With its classical silhouette and unique Gothic windows, this building is a fine example of pioneer architecture.