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Souris Valley Church

Laurier RM 38, Saskatchewan, S0C, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1984/02/07

View northwest, 2005.; Government of Saskatchewan, Marvin Thomas, 2005.
Front and South Elevations
View west at entrance and bell tower, 2005.; Government of Saskatchewan, Marvin Thomas, 2005.
Close-up of Front Elevation
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Other Name(s)

Souris Valley Church
St. Germaine Roman Catholic Church

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1907/01/01 to 1907/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/02/17

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Souris Valley Church is a Municipal Heritage Property occupying a 4-ha parcel of land in the Rural Municipality of Laurier No. 38, approximately 12 km southeast of the Town of Radville. The property features a wood-frame church built in 1907 and its cemetery, both situated on a grassy parcel of land surrounded by cultivated fields.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of Souris Valley Church resides in its long-standing role as a place of worship and gathering place for the local farming community. At the turn of the twentieth century, one of the first concerns of the district’s mainly French-Catholic homesteaders was the establishment of their religious institutions and the building of a church. In the earliest days of settlement in the area, travelling missionaries celebrated Mass in people’s homes. By 1907, St. Germaine Parish of the Archdiocese of St. Boniface had been created as the first Catholic parish in this region of southern Saskatchewan. In that year, the parishioners built St. Germaine Church, as it was originally named, on land that had been donated by a local farmer and blessed by Bishop Langevin of St. Boniface. The church, and a store, school and post office, formed the nucleus of a short-lived settlement called “Souris Valley.”

For over six decades, the church served the local congregation’s spiritual needs and provided a venue for numerous social gatherings. Since its closure in 1970 due to declining membership, the church and grounds have continued to be used for occasional weddings, community club meetings, ball games, picnics and reunions. The cemetery also remains in use. Still valued as an important landmark and last vestige of the Souris Valley settlement, the building, cemetery and grounds are maintained by a community organization formed expressly to care for the property.

Further heritage value lies in the church’s representative architecture. The church’s simple rectangular plan, gable roof, centrally-positioned bell tower, pointed-arch windows and modest interior are typical of many rural churches found in the province.

Source:

Rural Municipality of Laurier No. 38 Bylaw No. 2:84.

Character-Defining Elements

The heritage value of Souris Valley Church resides in the following character-defining elements:
-elements that reflect the property’s religious function and are representative of Saskatchewan’s small rural churches of the period, including the building’s simple rectangular form, gable roof, light-hued exterior walls, Gothic-inspired pointed-arch windows and window tracery, the centrally-placed bell tower surmounted by an open belfry with balustrade and cross; and interior elements such as the hardwood flooring, the v-joint fir walls and vaulted ceiling, the slightly elevated sanctuary, and the choir loft and balconies with their wooden balustrades;
-elements that express the property’s landmark status and long-standing connection to the community, including its location on its original site on a prominent rise of land; the open area of sports and picnic grounds demarcated from the surrounding grain fields; the churchyard cemetery with its interments, grave markers and monuments; and the church’s original bell.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Saskatchewan

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (SK)

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act, s. 11(1)(a)

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Property

Recognition Date

1984/02/07

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1907/01/01 to 1970/12/31

Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions

Function - Category and Type

Current

Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Mortuary Site, Cemetery or Enclosure
Community
Social, Benevolent or Fraternal Club

Historic

Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Department of Culture, Youth and Recreation Heritage Resources Branch 1919 Saskatchewan Drive Regina, SK File: MHP 620

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

MHP 620

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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