St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, A1S, Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Built in 1913 by the Ruby family of the Goulds, Ruby Church is a two storey, wooden framed church with a wooden bell tower on one end. This church is an example of a country church that employs a number of elements of the Gothic Revival style of architecture. The designation is limited to the footprint of the building.
Ruby Church is designated as a Registered Heritage Structure due to its historic, architectural environmental and cultural values.
The Ruby Church has a very rich history in the community of the Goulds. In 1910, the Anglican Church began to build a church in the community but local farmer George Ruby felt that the church was too far away from his home so he offered up the land and raised the money for the construction of St. Matthew’s Church, known as Ruby Church throughout the community. Construction of Ruby Church began in 1913 and while the church was never officially consecrated it became one of the centres of the Anglican community in the Goulds until the 1960s. The church was built by the Ruby family and they became the unofficial caretakers of the property despite the fact that it was owned by the Anglican Church. This historical association with the Ruby family is important because it is indicative of the family’s influence in the community.
Architecturally, Ruby Church is an excellent example of the country churches that are becoming rare in Newfoundland communities. Constructed of local wood using local labour, the church stands as a testament to the quality of craftsmanship during this period. Furthermore, the church employs a number of simplified Gothic Revival elements which were typical in rural churches during this period.
The gravesite on the church grounds holds the graves of many members of the Ruby family and their descendants. This gravesite is valuable because of its association with the people who built the church.
Ruby Church is culturally important as a reminder of the way in which religion was practiced in the past, in more humble and simple churches. Furthermore, Ruby Church served the community of the Goulds as a centre of worship for over 50 years and stands as a remnant to a historical cultural landscape.
Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, unnumbered designation file: "Goulds - Ruby Church."
All those exterior features that are reflective of the Newfoundland vernacular eccelesiastical interpretation of the Gothic Revival style, including:
-wooden bell tower with pyramidal roof;
-Gothic style arched windows;
-location of building relative to the gravesite;
-transom window over main door;
-building height, massing and dimensions.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador
Historic Resources Act
Registered Heritage Structure
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
Location of Supporting Documentation
Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, 1 Springdale Street, St. John's, NL, A1C 5V5
Cross-Reference to Collection