Walks continue, and I want to share a little quirk of Alvinston. At least, I think it’s a little quirky…
I mentioned before that Alvinston is a very small town – about 2,500 people. I suspect, looking at the houses and other buildings, that it was relatively prosperous until the late ’80s. Then it went the way of many small towns… the bigger cities around got the Walmarts and other big box stores, and little towns like these just died. There’s not a lot of industry out here, mostly agriculture.
But despite that… Alvinston has/had FIVE churches. Now… only two of them are still working as churches, but still that seems a lot of a town of this size, in a day and age where religious commitment is not what it once was.
Here are the two working churches.
The church on the left is a Presbyterian Church. The one on the right is the United Church of Canada. They are both quite large churches, which as I said, surprises me in a town this small.
The rest of the churches have all been converted to houses.
This one is on the main street coming into town. I don’t know if the house addition was built before or after it was converted to a residence. That addition is definitely modern. Above the main entrance, the stained glass says St. Matthew’s, and the limited research I’ve done tells me it was once a Catholic church and it closed as a church in 2007, so it’s possible the addition was built before.
The next residence was once a Baptist Church, and the little plaque at the top declares it to have been built in 1881. I couldn’t find any more information on it.
This last one, you saw a glimpse of already with the little bird church. It was called St. John’s and built in 1873, must have been the first church in Alvinston. (Evidenced also by the fact it is on Church Street). I’ve discovered it was an Anglican church, and it’s bell is now in a conservation area almost an hour south of here. It looks like the bell was moved in 1981. I’m not sure when the church stopped being a church.
I’m going to keep doing some digging. There’s a lot of history in this little town.