The Odelltown Methodist Church
If you only read about the Odelltown Methodist Church you will learn of its part in the war of 1812, but I think that it has more historical significance than that. You will learn that:
- it was a battle site during the War of 1812 . A battle between Americans and Canadians in which the Americans were routed;
- 26 years later During the Patriot rebellion, the Odelltown church was the site of the most decisive battle of the year;
- November 9th, 1838, 500 Patriots attacked the church where 200 loyalists were barricaded;
- the arrival of reinforcements forced the Patriots to flee to the United States;
- Lewis Odell was one of the Loyalist leaders who overwhelmed the rebels at the church; I have put a picture in this post of the monument commemorating the loyalists who died in that battle;
- the church was erected on land given to Joseph Odell as compensation from the British in the form of land grant and title and settled as Odelltown, which is now a part of Lacolle, Quebec, Canada.
Canada’s old buildings, offer anyone who visits them a different and equally important take of Canadian history. Standing in front of and going inside of one of these buildings, is like traveling back in time. The visitor becomes aware of another history. A history that demonstrates the ingenuity and capability of the early settlers to build structures and, provide for their families without destroying the air water and land that supported their very existence. Structures back then were constructed mainly from things found naturally in the area, such as field stone and lumber. Many of these buildings and structures are still standing today and are over 100-200 years old. Unlike today, early settlers built their churches, schools and communities in harmony with nature, a testament to their love and respect for the land and all other life around them.
The Odelltown Methodist Church is a wonderful example of what I have been talking about. It is a beautiful old stone church. From what I could see the stables where the horses and wagons were left to await the return of their owners are still standing and appear to be in great condition. Today the church is only used for a once a year service. I was disheartened to learn that the funds to restore the interior of this historical treasure ran out in the 1970s and the work was never completed. To this day, the church has no electricity.
We should be taking greater care when it comes to preserving those buildings and structures that represent the fight to make and keep Canada a sovereign nation and those that sacrificed so much and even gave the ultimate sacrifice.
We should also do it, because sometimes an old building represents more than can be understood by simply looking at the chipped paint, the cracking mortar and the boarded-up windows.
In closing: I am saddened and disheartened when I look at how progress has taken us away from living in harmony with nature. No longer do we even attempt to build our structures in harmony with nature. Man’s greed and lust for wealth has instead created an environment where:
- the air is becoming too toxic to breath;
- great forests are burned into ash, by conditions created by climate change, or totally cut down by humans;
- the water that is needed to sustain all living things is so polluted that it is killing everything that is in it;
- what was once beautiful wetlands and jungles, have been replaced with prefab, brick and mortar jungles… only inhabitable by humans.
This too is part of Canada’s history that one can not truly appreciate by simply reading a history book, listening to politicians or watching the wild fires on television. To truly experience the beauty of nature and how easy it is to live in harmony with it, one must get out of the house and look at how it was done.