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Restored historic Holloway Memorial Chapel evokes an early New England Colonial-Revival church

April 2022

For many early communities, a church is a very important community centre. The Holloway Memorial Chapel is one such church.

The Point Abino Peninsula in southern Ontario, along the north shore of Lake Erie, is a small residential community originally founded as an enclave of summer homes for the wealthy elite. At the end of the peninsula sits the historic Pont Albino Lighthouse.

Isaac Holloway and his partner, Chandler J. Wells, had bought all of Point Abino in 1874 for use by their company, the Point Abino Sand Company, the Point was a major source of sand for use as a base for stone streets and slab side-walks.  

After Holloway died in 1884, the company was taken over by his son Allan Holloway. Eight years later, after it was no longer used by the Sand Company, Isaac Holloway’s son-in-law, James Stafford and his brother, Richard Stafford, formed the Point Abino Association on 21 August 1992, with the purpose of acquiring the south end of Point Abino in order to develop the area into a summer family community, one that still exists today.

The church was built in 1894, in memory of Isaac Holloway and his wife, Mary Ann, as a small one-storey, wooden, shed-like building with a gable at each end, originally with no indoor plumbing or electrical wiring. By the 1930s, the small church was badly deteriorated from exposure to high water and the harsh wind in the winter.

To ensure the survival of the church building, it was decided to move it to a higher ground a few hundred feet away, and fully restore it.

Today, the church evokes an early New England Colonial-Revival country church, with an open portico attached to the front and a simple Christopher Wren-style steeple rising from the roof above the front gable. The original large casement windows, with their diamond-shaped panes, fill the sides of the building. The portico, the steeple, and the windows are notable exterior features of the Chapel, which is built of white wooden clapboarding, chiefly from the original building.

Almost 130 years after its founding, the Holloway Memorial Chapel is still a very busy church, the scene of summer weddings of sons and daughters of Canadian shore family and of the christenings of their infants. The operation of the Chapel is administered by a Board of Trustees, who ensure that it will be around for the next one hundred years and beyond.

Sources: History (hollowaymemorialchapel.org), Holloway Memorial Chapel in Crystal Beach celebrates 125th anniversary with the people who tied the knot there | FlamboroughReview.com, https://www.pointabinoassociation.com.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/restored-historic-holloway-memorial-chapel-evokes-an-early-new-england-colonial-revival-church/

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