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Anne’s Enduring Faith

Anne’s faith was strong and she was always on the lookout for an ideal pastor. In 1837, Anne convinced James Wallis, the timber baron of Fenelon Falls, to donate land for a church. In fact, he gave the first sermon in the new church once it was completed on May 6th, 1838. The property was located high on a hill in Fenelon. The site was chosen so that the new church would be a beacon for the community.

The original handwritten deed to the Church

The original deed is on display at St. James the Apostle, Fenelon Falls.

Circa 1850 photograph of a James Wallis, the first Minister and who provided land for the first St. James. Wallis was a tall man and is in this photograph is wearing a black waisted coat, with light coloured pants. He holds a cane and top hat in his right hand.

Black and white photo of James Walls circa 1840, by Cabinet Portrait in Toronto.

Colour photograph of the bell onto of steeple of current St. James Church. The bell is painted a grey colour. In the background is a view of the town of Fenelon Falls, with Cameron Lake in the very back of the picture.

Bell at St. James the Apostle in Fenelon Falls’ third church with Cameron Lake in the background.

The history of St. James Anglican Church is synonymous with the village history.  Today you can still follow the path up to the site of the first church of St. James the Apostle, which was a modest log building. The logs were rough-hewn from local trees and built by community “bee” that was the common practice in those early days. The land included a graveyard, which is still in existence, and bears the names of early settlers. This was the only graveyard in Fenelon Falls until 1869.

Access the video with a descriptive transcription