Historic Sites of Manitoba: St. John’s Ukrainian United Church and Cemetery (RM of Rossburn)
This monument in the Rural Municipality of Rossburn marks the former location of St. John’s Ukrainian United Church. It bears the names of early congregation members.
With the arrival of the first Ukrainian settlers to this area in 1899, church services were held in private homes until 1913. Then, using logs cut in the Riding Mountain Forest Reserve and milled at Peden’s sawmill, they built a frame church. Named St. John’s Ukrainian Presbyterian Church, it was the centre of an annual celebration and picnic held on 7 July, the patron’s day of St. John. In later years, the celebration dinners were held in the Ukrainian National Home located across the road.
In 1920, a cemetery was established on four acres donated by Dymtro Kozak. The church building was upgraded with the addition of a basement, furnace, and brick chimney. In its early years, the congregation was served by Dr. Bay, a pastor who, from 1917 to 1926, traveled between churches in his charge by horse and buggy or, in winter, by cutter. In 1925, with unification of the Methodist, Presbyterian, and Congregationalist denominations, the church became St. John’s Ukrainian United Church at Pete’s Lake District.
By 1958, the prevalance of automobiles in the region made it possible for people to travel to Rossburn to attend church services and, since many of the original parishioners had left the area, the church was closed except for the annual St. John’s celebration. This service was discontinued in 1972. A municipally-designated historic site, the building was demolished in 1999.
St. John's Ukrainian United Church, NE 16-20-24W, Rossburn area, Manitoba Historic Resources Branch.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 25 November 2012
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