nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for the ‘sacred spaces’ Category

restoring an old church

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For some time now, as part of my duties on the Vestry of our church, I have been involved in discussions about the future of a very old church in our community.

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St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church in New Maryland, New Brunswick (Photo credit: Hughes)

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St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church in New Maryland, New Brunswick was built in 1863 and is a small wooden Gothic Revival church designed by Rev. Edward S. Medley as part of his architectural program.

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In recognition of its history and architecture, the church is listed as a Protected Historic Site under the Heritage Conservation Act. It is considered to be one of the finest Medley-inspired, Neo-Gothic, wooden churches in New Brunswick. The designation has this to say about the church …

 

The Church of St. Mary the Virgin Provincial Heritage Place is significant because of its association with the Neo-Gothic architectural programme of Anglican priest-architect Rev. Edward S. Medley and, his father, Bishop John Medley. Here the two Medleys have collaborated to render a diminutive, wooden, mid-Victorian church-building translated from more formal stone compositions in England dating back to the Middle Ages. Designed by Rev. Edward S. Medley in 1863 and completed the following year, this church was consecrated by Bishop John Medley. It serves as a noteworthy example of the more than 100 Neo-Gothic churches erected in New Brunswick during the 47 year episcopate of John Medley (1845-1892).

Inspired by other much larger church buildings of the Gothic manner, St. Mary the Virgin reflects a dramatic emphasis on exterior vertical lines reaching upward along the walls of the building, ending in a distinctive bell turret. This verticality is accentuated further by board-and-batten exterior construction punctuated frequently in the architectural pattern by the characteristic pointed arch motif over windows, doorways and gables.

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The old church is closely surrounded by a cemetery and has been important to the community as a place of worship, family life, weddings, baptisms, and burials for well over 100 years. Since a new church was built in 1987, the old church has aged and weathered. Although repairs are needed, restoration is possible and a number of options have been suggested for its reuse.

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(Photos of the stained glass windows in the church are by John Leroux and are used with permission)

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If you are interested in hearing more about this church and following along as a new future for the church is imagined and realised, you can join the Facebook Group ‘Friends of the Historic New Maryland Church’. I hope to see you there!

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

November 13, 2017 at 11:32 am

goodbye to the snow

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We have had a thick layer of snow for the last few days.  But today, Christmas Eve, the rain is coming.  The snow will disappear.

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No matter.  Green or white, Christmas is Christmas.  I can hardly wait.

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Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays.

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Copyright  2014  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

December 24, 2014 at 6:59 am

Peace

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Peace

Written by jane tims

November 10, 2014 at 8:30 am

aromatic spring

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November 9, 2011 ‘Peltoma Lake’ Jane Tims

 

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meadow aromatic

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ozone lightning, late

waters cede, shoots

of cattail merge

end of day, end of June

fireflies, mosquito nights

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lake-land meadow seeps

wetland meets nostril

marsh musk percolates

half sour, half sweet

methane ooze, decay

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damp fiddleheads unfurl

bird beaks simmer

in duckweed soup

skin of salamander, frog

steeplebush, meadowsweet

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angels crave human years, allow

their pores release, scent imitates

reek of sweat, of work

tears mingle with perfume

aftershave and powder

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Oct. 9, 2011 ‘Reeds and reflection’ Jane Tims

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Copyright  2014  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

June 13, 2014 at 7:32 am

ghost girl

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In Fredericton, there is a relatively famous road, called Waterloo Row.  It is famous for its beautiful old homes and is featured in the Canadian version of the game Monopoly.  For me, the road represents a favorite part of my former morning commute.

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Especially in fog, Waterloo Row presents some lovely vignettes, including ghostly images of the St. John River, with the old bridge, now a footbridge, vanishing into the mist…

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older homes, some of whom are reputed to be haunted…

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and a bench along the river footpath, haunted by a young girl who sat there almost 34 years ago, considering her future…

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I see her sitting there whenever I drive by.  On a cool evening in May of 1980, she drove there on her bicycle and watched the river for an hour, thinking about what her life would be.  In two months, she would marry, and her life would change in many ways.  She thought about this and wondered.

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If I could talk to her, I could answer almost all her questions.  I could tell her about her marriage of (so far) 33 wonderful years.  I could tell her all about her future husband and amazing son.  I could tell her how relaxing it will be to be at home full-time after three decades of work.  And I could tell her – the river could never be as beautiful as the sight of our small pond with its stone bench and violet-studded lawn on this day at the end of May, 34 years later.

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Copyright  2013  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

May 28, 2014 at 8:12 am

the tale of a marriage certificate

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Of my eight great-grandparents, I have found myself most drawn to the story of Ella Hawk and Frank Norman.  Before I became interested in them, my aunt did a considerable amount of work, so I have only had to fill in small gaps of information.  If you follow my Blog, you will know I have looked diligently for information on their lives before 1886 when they married in Laramie, Wyoming (for a poem about Ella’s early life, see https://nichepoetryandprose.wordpress.com/2012/10/17/occupation-shoemaker/

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I know several bits of information about the day Ella and Frank married – July 24, 1886.  For one thing, I have stood in the Methodist Episcopal Church where they were married (see https://nichepoetryandprose.wordpress.com/2011/09/15/sacred-spaces-2/ ).  Also, the newspapers for July 1886 are a great source of information on Laramie and the people living there at the time.

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I also have copies of Ella and Frank’s Application for a Marriage Licence and their Certificate of Marriage.  On the documents, Ella identified herself as Mary Ellen Rhoderick since she was previously married.

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Marriage Licence Application for Frank Norman and Ella Hawk (Mary E. Rhoderick)

Marriage Licence Application for Frank Norman and Ella Hawk (Mary E. Rhoderick)

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Certificate of Marriage for Frank Norman and Mary E. Rhoderick

Certificate of Marriage for Frank Norman and Mary E. Rhoderick

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Who were the people who signed my great-grandparents’ marriage documents?

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George W. Fox, with the very elegant signature, was the County Clerk in Laramie from 1885 to 1888.  An 1875 history of Laramie describes him as a ‘city alderman’, who, in 1866 crossed the Plains with an ox train, by way of Fort Laramie and the Big Horn’ to eventually work in the Laramie meat and vegetable market, and in the sales of dry goods.  The history says: ‘by fair and honorable dealing has very much endeared himself to our citizens. In fact as a benevolent, high minded, business gentleman Mr. Fox has no superior’ (History and Directory of Laramie City, Triggs, 1875).  George W. Fox is also known for his diary, kept in 1866 as he crossed the Plains (Annals of Wyoming 8 (3):580-601; https://archive.org/details/annalsofwyom8141932wyom ).  His stories of encounters with stampeding cattle and rattlesnakes vividly portray the wild west.

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S.H. Huber was the Minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  According to the July 10, 1886 Daily Boomerang newspaper, Pastor Huber had been in Laramie for two years.  He was in poor health and would stop preaching and leave for Illinois within the month.  Another article says he performed the Sherriff’s marriage the week before Ella and Frank’s marriage.  The First Methodist Episcopal Church, which still stands at 150N Second Street, was constructed in 1860 and was eventually moved across the street where today it is the oldest church building in Laramie.

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Although there are other possibilities, it is likely that Lizzie Langhoff was a friend or acquaintance of Ella. Among three Langhoff families in the Laramie area in the 1880s are Charles and Almena Langhoff with their children Lizzie, Emma, Anna, Louis and Minnie.  By 1884, this family had come from Plattsmouth, Nebraska (1880 US Census) to live in Laramie.  Lizzie, Louis and Anna appear in the Roll of Honor for schools in the Laramie area several times from 1884 to 1886 (Daily Boomerang).  Lizzie was born January 6, 1871, so she would have been 15 years old in July of 1886, perhaps old enough to witness a wedding.  Lizzie Langhoff died in Laramie on April 25, 1892 (Wyoming: Find a Grave Index 1850-2012) at the age of 21.

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Methodist Church in Laramie, front view

Methodist Episcopal Church in Laramie in 2002 – this is the back and side of the original church which was rolled across the street to its present position

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Ella and Frank did not stay in Laramie for long.  In the 1890s they lived in Denver Colorado where my grandfather Leo was born in 1890.

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Leo Norman, born 1890

Leo Norman, born 1890

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Unfortunately, Ella and Frank’s marriage did not last.  I have the paperwork for their Divorce Decree in 1896.  Nevertheless, I owe my existence to their decade-long marriage and the sense of adventure their short time in Laramie has brought to my own life.

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Copyright  2014  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

May 15, 2014 at 7:20 am

getting ready for Christmas #3 – a countdown to Christmas

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In our house, we usually do a countdown to Christmas.  Ours is a countdown through Advent, beginning on the first Sunday in Advent and marking off the days, one at a time.

Most years, I have a Jesse tree, a tradition in some Christian homes.  This celebrates the long genealogy of Jesus who was of the house of Jesse, the father of David.  When my son was little, we had bread-dough ornaments each illustrating Biblical events.  When he grew older, and as the ornaments started to show their age, I put red and green ribbons on our Jesse tree.  The Jesse tree itself is a two to three foot tall branch from a birch tree.  A memory I have through the years is of ironing those ribbons to remove the wrinkles of the year gone by.

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We also have a fabric Advent calendar with pockets for small treats.  Most years we put mint sticks in each pocket.  This year we couldn’t find our usual mint sticks, so we wrapped sticks of chocolate, one for each day in the calendar.

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This year, I decided to create something new to use for our countdown.  On Pinterest, I have seen several examples of countdown ornaments created from tags embellished with various trinkets.  So I made twenty-five of these, since this year Advent and December both began on December 1st.

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I printed tags with the numbers spelled out and fixed a small memento to each one.  Most of these are trinkets I have kept in odd drawers over the years – mismatched earrings, buttons, acorns, feathers, shells, Christmas pins and so on.  I threaded a ribbon through a hole punched in the tag.  Each day since December 1, I have hung a new ornament, tying them to the bar of a drying rack we have in the living room.

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The ornaments are pretty and remind me of the days ahead and the days that have come and gone.

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Do you count down the days until Christmas????

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Copyright  2013  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

December 16, 2013 at 7:37 am

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