|This E.C. Everett photo was taken in 1936.|
Built in classic wood frame style,
the church served its parishioners for more than 100 years.
The first church in Nipigon, St. Mary the Virgin, was built in 1888, under the guidance of Reverend Robert Renison. Local people contributed about $250 toward construction, and tourists and visitors donated as well. Its solid log foundation contributed to its longtime structural integrity. At the rear of the church was a church hall that was dismantled in the 1970's.
Prior to the construction of the church, monthly services were held in the home of Newton Flanagan, junior Chief Trader at Red Rock Post. When the CPR came through in 1885, services moved to the station waiting room.
rev. Renison ministered in Nipigon from 1880 to 1894. His wife, Mary Elizabeth, and six-year-old son Frank are buried in the small cemetery beside the rectory. The oldest stone in the cemetery is 1883, and the last burial recorded is in 1924.
Rev. Renison's oldest son, also named Robert, went on to become the Bishop of Moosonee, and in later years, the Metro Bishop of Toronto.