Dalkeith Historical Society is now the proud owner of St. Paul’s chapel
The members of the Dalkeith Historical Society never gave up on their dream to take ownership of the last remaining heritage building in their community.
The years of hard work and dedication have finally paid off.
Historical society spokesperson Frances Fraser just announced that the Dalkeith Historical Society is now the proud owner of St. Paul's chapel.
"We finally got the deed," Fraser said. "This is so exciting and it's proof that all of our hard work has finally paid off."
Fraser said the society is looking forward to restoring the building and moving into its new home.
"We are ready to move ahead," she remarked. "We are incorporated as a not-for-profit charity through the Ontario Historical Society and we have charitable status through the Canada Revenue Agency."
Fraser noted it's taken the society two-and-a-half years to get to this point, but it was well worth it.
"We've done a lot of negotiating but it was worth it to save the building," she commented.
The society will be hosting a public meeting Saturday, September 8 at 9 a.m. to further inform the public of its plans for the historic building. Everyone is welcome to attend.
A lot can change
In May, it seemed the society's hopes of owning the building had been all but dashed.
Four members of the society met with Terry Landon, an official with the diocese, and were told the society's plans to sever the property were "impossible."
Last fall, the diocese offered the building to the community for one dollar, providing it paid for the severance, which could amount to around $5,000.
At that meeting, historical society members were told their plans were "dead in the water" and the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) condemned the septic tank at the rectory.
In November, the historical society was devastated to learn that the diocese was planning to host an auction to sell the contents of St. Paul's chapel.
Research carried out by the historical club shows that the building has been used by the community since the 1860s. It was built by the Robertson family, who came from Dalkeith, Scotland and gave the community its name. The building served as a general store from 1867 to 1907, when it was sold to what was then the Diocese of Alexandria.
It served as the parish church up until four years ago, when lack of attendance forced the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall to close it.