Historic Sites of Manitoba: Roseville Cemetery and Monument (Municipality of Riverdale)
In 1884, a 16- by 24-foot church was built at this site in the Municipality of Riverdale, on land donated by James Varcoe, using materials hauled from Brandon. Varcoe also constructed the original pulpit and pews. The first service was held in it on 13 April 1884. Due to the small population of any one denomination in the area, Roseville operated as a Union Church and services were offered by Baptist, Episcopal, Methodist (later United), Congregational, and Anglican clerics in rotation. Later services were provided only by United and Anglican clerics until only the Anglican church was providing service.
A 16- by 16-foot addition to the original structure was made in 1896. The church was put onto a new foundation with a full basement in 1909. A furnace was added in 1926, the interior was renovated in 1942, and electrical service came in 1953. Most of the pews were donated to a church mission at Snow Lake in 1954, after the church inherited pews from the Wheatland Church. Sunday School classes were held in a separate building brought to the site from Carnegie. The church closed in 1979 and most of the remaining congregants joined St. James Anglican Church at Rivers. The building was donated to the nearby Chapman Museum where it stood until 2015 when, in deteriorating condition, it was disassembled.
A monument in the associated cemetery commemorates pioneers who built the Roseville church. Among those buried in the cemetery is British physicist Sir Frederick Charles Frank OBE FRS (1911-1998) who was born in Durban, South Africa and died at Bristol, England. Related to local settlers, he is said to have been impressed by the area during a visit and decided to be buried here after his death.
From Generation to Generation, Kirkham’s Bridge Women’s Institute, 1987.
“Sir (Frederick) Charles Frank, O.B.E.,” Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, volume 46, pages 178-196, 2000.
We thank Lois Allen for providing additional information used here.
Page revised: 7 April 2020
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