St. Joseph's Colony Heritage Site
St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, Rectory and School
Links and documents
1897/01/01 to 1903/12/31
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, Rectory and School which occupies approximately 2/3 of a hectare of land in the Organised Hamlet of St. Joseph’s in the Rural Municipality of South Qu’Appelle No. 157. The property features an 1897 one-and-a-half storey, wood-frame church with a fieldstone foundation, a three-storey fieldstone rectory built in 1903 and a one-storey, wood-frame, stucco-clad school constructed in 1943 and relocated to this site in 1972.
The heritage value of St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, Rectory and School lies in its association with the religious development of St. Joseph’s Colony. In 1886, German Catholics fleeing religious persecution in Russia emmigrated to Canada and formed a settlement they named St. Joseph’s Colony. Their Roman Catholic faith was central to their identity and within a year they constructed their first church on this site. By 1897 the colony had outgrown the original church and the current church building was constructed. In 1903, the local priest hired a contractor from Winnipeg to construct a building which he hoped would house a convent. The convent was never established and the building was instead used as a rectory. As a result of the declining population of St. Joseph’s, coupled with the construction of a new church in the nearby Town of Balgonie, the church was closed in the 1960s and the rectory sold for use as a private residence.
The property is also valued for its association with the education of community members. Schooling in the community began in 1887 with classes in the original church. A one-room schoolhouse was built in 1903 and classes were conducted in that building until it closed in 1966. Several generations of community members were educated in the school, which was torn down soon after its closure. The Southgate School was moved to this location in 1972. Similar form and size to the St. Joseph’s school, the Southgate School is representative of the one-room schoolhouse built in St. Joseph’s and the many built across Saskatchewan during the first half of the 20th century.
Rural Municipality of South Qu’Appelle 157 Bylaw No.1/84.
The heritage value of the St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, Rectory and School resides in the following character-defining elements:
-those elements of the church which reflect the association with the religious life of the settlement, including the entrance archway with the inscription celebrating the 50th anniversary of the colony, the steeple, arched windows of the church, the religious murals next to the alter and the church’s location on its original lot;
-those elements of the rectory and grounds associated with the religious life of the settlement, such as the large crucifix set into the grounds between the church and rectory and the rectory’s location on its original site;
-those elements of the school which speak to its association with community education, such as the form, the name of the school above the front entrance and the flag pole.
Local Governments (SK)
Heritage Property Act, s. 11(1)(a)
Municipal Heritage Property
1972/01/01 to 1972/12/31
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Religious Institutions
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Religious Facility or Place of Worship
- One-Room School
Architect / Designer
Septimus A. Clark
Location of Supporting Documentation
Department of Culture, Youth and Recreation
Heritage Resources Branch
1919 Saskatchewan Drive Regina SK
File: MHP 676
Cross-Reference to Collection