Home / Accueil

Sandwich First Baptist Church National Historic Site of Canada

3652 Peter Street, Windsor, Ontario, N9C, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1999/11/21

View of the main entrance of Sandwich First Baptist Church, showing its slightly elevated setting set back from the street.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada.
General view
Corner view of Sandwich First Baptist Church, showing its locally-made brick construction materials with wood framing of doors and windows.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada.
Corner view
No Image

Other Name(s)

Sandwich First Baptist Church
Église de la First Baptist Church de Sandwich
Sandwich First Baptist Church National Historic Site of Canada

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1851/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/08/11

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Sandwich First Baptist Church National Historic Site of Canada is a picturesque brick church located in the former border town of Sandwich, now part of the City of Windsor, Ontario. It is a small, brick, gable-roofed church set close to the street, that exhibits the vernacular qualities of simplicity, modest scale and limited decorative embellishment typical of the many auditory hall-style churches built by Underground Railroad refugee communities in mid-nineteenth century Upper Canada. The designated place is the building defined by its footprint at the time of designation (1999).

Heritage Value

Sandwich First Baptist Church was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1999 because:
- it is representative of the once more numerous churches in border towns and villages built by black congregations to accommodate the growing communities created by the arriving Underground Railroad refugees;
- the establishment of this church and its Black congregation is directly related to the formation of the Amherst Regular Missionary Baptist Association.

Originally associated with the 19th-century establishment of an African Canadian community of refugees from slavery arriving via the Underground Railroad, Sandwich First Baptist Church is one of the oldest Baptist churches surviving from this period in Ontario. Sandwich First Baptist Church received, sheltered, and assisted new Canadians arriving on the Underground Railroad. As a black community church next to the American border, it was a focal point for many anti-slavery activities and is directly related to the formation of the Amherstburg Regular Missionary Baptist Association.

Built on land donated by the Crown in 1851, the church required that all members aid in its construction by giving donations or making bricks from local materials. Over the years the building was embellished, as with the addition of its crenellated entry tower. The heritage value of Sandwich First Baptist Church resides in its associated history as illustrated by the location, composition, and materials of the building itself.

Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, January 2005, November 1999.

Character-Defining Elements

Features defining the heritage character of this site include:
- its border location across the Detroit River from the American city of Detroit;
- its slightly elevated setting set back from the street;
- its rectangular footprint and cubic massing under a gable roof;
- its crenellated entry tower and the 5-bays of regularly spaced windows along the side elevations (three early and two later bays);
- its vernacular interpretation of Gothic Revival elements in the pointed window, arched entrance door, and crenellated tower;
- its locally-made brick construction materials with wood framing of doors and windows;
- the simple, well-finished interior layout with small vestibule, large auditory hall and chancel area;
- its continuous function as a church and meeting place.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date

1999/11/21

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1920/01/01 to 1920/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Community Organizations
Building Social and Community Life
Social Movements

Function - Category and Type

Current

Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship

Historic

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec.

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

1898

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

SEARCH THE CANADIAN REGISTER

Advanced SearchAdvanced Search
Find Nearby PlacesFIND NEARBY PLACES PrintPRINT
Nearby Places