Description of Historic Place
This Gothic Revival style wood-framed church is a landmark in Lennox Island. Located on a point of land at the southeastern tip of the island, just above the wharf, it has served as a symbol for local fishermen and mariners for over a century. The design features a nave with steeply pitched gable roof with an ell extension. A square tower rises from the corner of the building. Oculus windows and pointed arch Gothic windows with tracery accent the building. The exterior cladding is composed of board and batten and alternating shingle patterns.
This church is valued for its historical association with the Mi'kmaq people of Lennox Island; as an example of the work of Island architect, George E. Baker; and for its Gothic Revival architectural style.
This late Victorian Gothic Revival church was constructed in 1895 according to a design by Summerside architect, George Edwin Baker, who had also designed the church at Miscouche three years earlier. The builders of St. Anne's at Lennox Island were Major Schurman and John Clark of Schurman, Clark and Company as well as Joe Bernard and Joe Knockwood.
This is the third church building on the site. It replaced a wooden church which also had a tower and spire. It had been constructed in 1838 by John Dixon of Kildare Capes and was completed in 1842. It later was destroyed by fire.
The first church in the area was a log chapel dating from 1810. St. Anne, according to the Gospel of James, was the grandmother of Jesus. She became the patron saint of Quebec, Brittany, the Mi'kmaq people, women in labour, and miners. Bishop Plessis of Quebec visited Lennox Island in 1812 and soon appointed Rev. Jean Beaubien to minister to the spiritual needs of the Mi'kmaq people.
The Feast Day of St. Anne, July 26, is an important religious and cultural event in the life of the people of Lennox Island and this parish. The Sunday immediately preceding July 26, is celebrated as St. Anne's Sunday with Mass in the morning, a benediction and blessing of the sacraments in the afternoon, all followed by a peace pipe ceremony, traditional food and games.
Following a period of disrepair, the church has undergone extensive restoration work, thanks to the efforts of local fundraising and the community's awareness of the heritage and cultural value of this exceptional building. In 2013, the community of Lennox Island was presented with the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation's Irene Rogers Architectural Preservation Award in light of its outstanding efforts.
Heritage Places Files, PEI Dept. of Education, Early Learning & Culture, Charlottetown, PE File # 4320-20/S9
The heritage value of the church is shown in the following character-defining elements:
- the wood frame
- the wood shingle and board and batten cladding
- the steeply pitched gable roofline
- the brick chimney
- the side square tower with shingled spire topped by a cross
- the pointed arch Gothic windows with tracery and decorative moulding
- the oculus windows
- the side vestibule
- the buttresses of the tower and nave