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4910-53 Street, Mirror, Alberta, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2010/01/14

St. Monica's Anglican Church, Mirror, May 2009; Mirror and District Museum Association, May 2009
Principal elevations, 2009.
St. Monica's Anglican Church, Mirror, May 2009.; Mirror and District Museum Association, 2009
North and east elevations.
St. Monica's Anglican Church, Mirror, May 2009.; Mirror and District Museum Association, 2009
South and east elevations

Other Name(s)

St. Monica's Church
St. Monica's Anglican Church, Lamerton
The Church of England, Parish of St. Monica, Lamerton
The Church of England, Parish of St. Monica, Lamerton Buffalo Lake

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1895/01/01 to 1895/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2010/11/18

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

St. Monica's Anglican Church, constructed in 1895, is located on a rise at the south-east corner of 50th Avenue and 49th Street in the former village of Mirror, on approximately one half-acre grass and treed site, bounded on the north and west sides by a concrete wall and iron picket-like fence above the sidewalk. The landmark building is a small gable-roofed rectangular-plan log structure with an apse and vestibule. It is clad with siding and has a small bell tower over the west-facing entrance. The surrounding cemetery and associated parish hall are not included in the recognition.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of St. Monica's Anglican Church lies in its historical association with the early settlers of the Lamerton Buffalo Lake district and the fledgling Anglican church in Alberta, prior to the arrival of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway and the establishment of the townsite of Mirror one and one-quarter miles south of Lamerton in 1911.

As the oldest church in Lacombe County, constructed in 1895 through work bees organized by ranchers Walter and Edward Parlby, St. Monica's Anglican Church demonstrates multi-denominational cooperation and building traditions that represent a practical response to frontier conditions. Consecrated in 1897 by Bishop Pinkham of Calgary, St. Monica's Anglican Church, it was furnished with the assistance of relatives and friends of the congregation in England. It was the first of three churches, followed by St. Pancras in Alix (1910) and St. Peter's in Bashaw (1913) that comprised the district of the Mission of Lamerton, within the Diocese of Calgary. The coming of the railway placed St. Monica's Anglican Church in the heart of a burgeoning community and the sale of the 40-acre Dominion mission church land grant for building sites supported an endowment for the three churches. St Monica's Anglican Church represents the vernacular architecture typical of small churches on the prairies. Clad with siding since before 1911, complete with bell tower capped by a wooden ball and iron cross by 1915, it was updated in 1955 with an enlarged vestibule. It also demonstrates the evolution of interior finishes and heating systems that illustrate a progression in the comfort and decoration of the building and the cultural values of the congregation to its closure in 1985. As part of the collections of the Mirror and District Museum, the landmark St. Monica's Anglican Church has heritage significance for the social and cultural value placed on its preservation in support of the identity and history of Lamerton Buffalo Lake as one of the earliest settled districts in Lacombe County.

Sources: Lacombe County Bylaw No. 1101/9 and Mirror and District Museum, Research File, St. Monica's Anglican Church.

Character-Defining Elements

The key elements that define the heritage value of this site include:

- scale and massing;
- gable roofs with cedar shingles;
- bell tower, capped with a wooden ball and iron cross, and bell;
- patterns of fenestration;
- drop siding and decorative trim, such as corner boards and eaves;
- sandstone chimney on the south wall of the nave.

- the interior spatial configuration;
- planked floors;
- original lath and plaster walls of the sanctuary complete with chair rail;
- wood trim surrounding sanctuary and altar rails;
- sanctuary shelf; - modified double entrance doors to nave;
- floor gratings from gravity furnace heating system;
- brass memorial wall plaques in nave;
- electric heating fan in west wall of nave;
- Colman propane stove in the north room of vestibule;
- notice board and coat racks in vestibule;
- church furnishings, such as: altar, memorial pulpit, pews, and baptismal font.

- original retaining concrete wall on the west side;
- the iron fence on the north and west side compete with wicket gate;
- concrete steps and sidewalk from gate to the entrance door;
- tree plantings in the northwest corner and caragana hedge south of the cemetery.




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (AB)

Recognition Statute

Historical Resources Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Historic Resource

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions

Function - Category and Type



Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Mirror and District Museum, Mirror, AB, TOB 3C0, Research File, St. Monica's Anglican Church

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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