Baker Brook Church
Église de Baker-Brook
Links and documents
1920/01/01 to 1927/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Saint-Cœur-de-Marie Church is a brick religious building constructed in 1927 in the Classical Revival style. It is situated on Principale Street in the Village of Baker Brook. Established on the shores of the Saint John River, the church faces the magnificent hills along the Canada-United States border. The site of the village’s former train station is in front of the church.
Saint-Cœur-de-Marie church was designated a Local Historic Place for its architecture, its collection of interior paintings, and its importance in the religious history of the community of Baker Brook.
Construction of the church began in 1920, after much lobbying on the part of residents. To them, the establishment of a church in Baker Brook represented pride and official recognition as a community, as well as being able to practise their faith more easily. The building was completed in 1927. The result of these community efforts is a beautiful one-and-a-half-storey brick church in the Classical Revival style.
Saint-Cœur-de-Marie church was also designated a Local Historic Place for its unique interior paintings. The painter Gilbert O. Roy, who was responsible for reproducing a faux-marble finish on the church’s interior columns, decided to add his personal touch to them, the result of which would astound parishioners for many generations. Roy would amuse himself, at the priest’s expense, by creating trompe-l’œil figures in the painting. These included Indian chiefs and maidens, angels, and even a devil that can sometimes be seen under certain lighting. It seems the artist even dared to paint the priest of the time, who recognized himself and demanded that Roy remove all the figures. The painter took advantage of the opportunity to add even more. Other magnificent paintings on the ceiling and walls represent the Stations of the Cross.
In addition, Saint-Cœur-de-Marie church was the only church in the whole region that was taken charge of by a delegation of Franciscan brothers. They assumed responsibility for the Parish of Baker Brook in 1940.
Source: Madawaska Planning Commission, Baker Brook Register of Historic Sites, File 2.4 – "Église de Baker-Brook"
The character-defining elements of Saint-Cœur-de-Marie Church include:
- the one-and-a-half-storey rectangular plan with a two-storey wing in the back;
- the brown brick exterior;
- the gabled roof with returned eaves;
- the Roman arch high windows and main entrance;
- the rosette tracery in the windows;
- the magnificent central bell tower housing the main entrance door, surmounted by a lantern and a spire;
- the rose window;
- the vestry, or winter chapel on the left side, adorned with a bell tower;
- the four finials on the front façade.
The character-defining elements of the interior of the church include:
- the faux-marble columns by Gilbert O. Roy;
- the paintings of the Stations of the Cross;
- the altar;
- the exceptional acoustics.
Local Governments (NB)
Local Historic Places Program
Municipal Register of Local Historic Places
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Religious Institutions
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Religious Facility or Place of Worship
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Madawaska Planning Commission, Baker Brook Register of Historic Places, File 2.4
Cross-Reference to Collection