Sainte Marie Church - 100 Years - Church Point, NS
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 44° 20.041 W 066° 06.944
19T E 729944 N 4913018
Quick Description: This church isn't big or even large - it's HUGE. The largest wooden church in North America, in fact. It has been designated a Province of Nova Scotia Heritage Property.
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Date Posted: 12/6/2017 12:23:02 AM
Waymark Code: WMX730
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 3

Long Description:
In 2005 this large marker was affixed to the former church, which was by that time used only as a museum, to commemorate its first century of existence.

A historical place of worship, the church, with its steeple rising 56.4 m (185 feet) above the ground, is the largest wooden church in North America. Built over a period of two years, from 1903 to 1905, by 1500 volunteers under the supervision of a master carpenter who could neither read nor write, it features large columns which are actually complete 20 m (70ft) tall tree trunks. The tall steeple is anchored down using 40 tons of rocks and contains 3 large bells with a combined weight of almost 2 tons.
From the Church website

Built in the form of a cross, the church measures 58 metres (190 feet) in length, with transepts 41 metres (135 feet) across. The spire rises a total of 56 metres (184 feet), with its cross adding another 1.67 meters (5.5 feet). Originally 15 feet taller, the church steeple was struck by lightning in 1914, requiring part of the spire to be rebuilt.

It's difficult to get an appreciation for the size of this church from a 2D photo. To help you out, B is standing in the entrance in the photo below.

The church was built beginning in 1903 by 1500 very ambitious volunteer Acadian carpenters under the direction of an illiterate master carpenter. No longer used as a church, it serves the world at large as a museum of Acadian history. The church is today a Nova Scotia Heritage Property.
Sainte Marie Church

Sainte Marie Church is an imposing French Romanesque Revival style church located adjacent to the campus of the Université Sainte-Anne, the only French university in Nova Scotia. It is reputed to be the largest wooden building in North American. It is an important cultural landmark for the Acadian community of Church Point, NS and beyond. Both the church and the lands are included in the provincial designation.

Sainte Marie Church is valued for its architecture and as a cultural landmark.
Construction of Sainte Marie Church was completed in 1905, based on the designs of French architect Auguste Regneault and overseen by local master carpenter Léo Melanson. Melanson constructed several other wood frame churches in the area and was awarded a medal in 1944 by Pope Pius XII for his work on Sainte Marie. Its construction owes much to the resident priest of the time, Father Pierre-Marie Dagnaud of the Eudist Order. This church is the third church to be built on the site to serve the local Catholic congregation who were the descendants of the Acadian families who arrived in the area in 1769 from Massachusetts. These families survived the 1755 Deportation and returned to Nova Scotia on foot. Unable to return to their original homes, which had been burned or occupied by English-speaking settlers, this group of displaced Acadians resettled in the Church Point area.

Sainte Marie Church is unique within Nova Scotia and is thought to be the largest wooden building in North America. Regneault’s design incorporated French and Romanesque Revival influences. The former is demonstrated by the overall plan form, the general building massing, the spires and the interior rib valuated ceilings. The round headed windows and limited articulation of the exterior elevations are typical of the Romanesque style. Both the interior and the exterior of the church remain relatively unaltered. The high vaulted ceilings combined with the large nave and transepts give the visitor, upon entering, a sense of grandeur and awe. The sheer size of the church gives it a dominating appearance at the 185 foot spire can be seen from miles around.

The church is both an architectural landmark and represents Acadian culture and history in Nova Scotia.
Source: Provincial Heritage Property File no. 247.

Character-defining elements of Sainte Marie Church include:
- wood cladding;
- location close to the campus of the Université Sainte-Anne;
- wood framing.
Character-defining elements of Sainte Marie Church that relate to its Romanesque Revival style include:
- windows with label mouldings and stained glass;
- long, double belfry openings
- tower with round headed window;
- rectangular windows in the turrets and across the centre of the tower;
- interior arches supported by large round pillars with ornate Corinthian capitals;
- band of ornamental arches under clerestory windows running around the entire perimeter of the church.
Character-defining elements of Sainte Marie Church that relate to its French architectural influence include:
- two-storey, five-sided chancel extension;
- two large turrets flanking central steeple
- four small turrets at base of roof spire
Interior character-defining elements of Sainte Marie Church include:
- high vaulted ceilings;
- large nave and transepts;
- nine flower-edged tableaux on central ceiling vaults;
- crystal chandelier from 1828 church;
- 41 stained glass windows, three bronze bells, main altar and Stations of the Cross, all imported from France.
From Historic Places Canada
Photo goes Here
Anniversary Year: 2005

Year of Event, Organization or Occurance: 1905

1713 Nova Scotia Hwy 1
Church Point, NS Canada
B0W 1M0

Website: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
1. Original photo if possible. A narrative of your visit.
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