Sunday, July 3, 2011

Day 1: Odelltown Methodist Church, Lacolle, Québec

We made it to the "only once a year" 11am church service at the Odelltown Methodist Church in Lacolle. This was special. Joseph Odell was a Tory from Poughkeepsie New York who brought his large family to Canada probably to escape the torment of persecution of the colonial revolutionaries who are called patriots in the USA. Names and designations can be so relative because in British Canada, he was given land an the honorific title of United Empire Loyalist.  He received compensation from the British in the form of land and settled Odelltown which is now a part of Lacolle.  The beautiful stone church was constructed in 1823.






The stables where horses and wagons awaited the end of services

Interior

 Funds to restore the interior ran out in the 1970s;
the work was not completed

The chandelier is a replacement.  The original was stolen a few years ago

Coal/wood stoves - there's no electricity





The services and the preacher were inspiring as the parishioners celebrated 188 years of community, continuity and perseverance.  Descendants of the English Settlers of Lacolle remain in this small community.  To this day, the church has no electricity and that seemed quite appropriate for this historical church that was the site of a War of 1812 battle between Americans and Canadians -  the American were routed.  The second battle occurred twenty six years later when both French and English colonists rose up against the British colony government in the Lower Canada Patriot Rebellion. The Loyalists were said to number 200 and the rebels 1200.


"During the Patriot rebellion, the Odelltown church was the site of the most decisive battle of the year. November 9th 1838, 500 Patriots attacked the church where 200 loyalists were barricaded. The arrival of reinforcements forced the Patriots to flee to the United States. We can see today the monument commemorating the loyalists who died in that battle."

Some references state the rebellion was a French Canadian rebellion and often call it the "Papineau Rebellion". However, there were also leaders with Scotch and Irish surnames - Nelson, O'Callaghan and Mackensie. Lewis Odell was one of the Loyalist leaders who overwhelmed the rebells at the church.

Odell family members are buried in the Jackson cemetery off Montée Guay






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