A Pioneer Church's Return to Glory
Beaverdams Church is more than an old building in need of fixing up. Just ask the Friends of Beaverdams Church, the community group that has taken it upon itself to restore this heritage structure to its original glory in the historic Thorold neighbourhood.
The pioneer church, built in 1832 in the austere style of a New England meeting house, stands tall as a beacon of community identity, despite years of neglect before the Friends came along.
But restoring a heritage building is a labour of love —and an expensive endeavour at that. The Niagara Community Foundation eased that financial burden when it provided $4,000 to replace two of the 26 windows in the church last year.
That cash infusion kickstarted a vigorous campaign that raised all the money needed to replace every window in the church. It also enabled the Friends to move on to their next task of refinishing siding on the church.
When restoration is complete, Beaverdams Church will be an official stop on a trail of historic sites relevant not only to Thorold but all of Canada. It will be used seasonally to host visitors and community events, just as it was always intended.
“The Niagara Community Foundation grant was pivotal because that got the ball rolling,” says David Cowan, president of the Friends of Beaverdams Church. “We got the (window) project done in less than a year, which shows the community’s support for it.”