For years on my travels from Burlington to Montreal, I’ve caught glimpses of a small brick church beside the highway giving me an “abandoned” vibe. Even from the highway at 60mph, I could see that this church didn’t have any windows.
Finally, I was able to take a detour to visit this church. Getting off the exit at Henrysburg, Quebec, I was stunned. At first, there didn’t appear to be a way to get to the church, as it appeared to be encircled by the highways and ramps, without an access road. Fortunately, that was not the case. A small road off the access ramp led to the church.
Despite the proximity to Autoroute 15, this is one of the most peaceful locations that I have visited. The church sits in an oasis of trees. The grass is mowed, probably because there is an active (as recently as 2012) cemetery on site.
I was not expecting to find what I did when I looked in the church windows.
I stood there fascinated while simultaneously feeling like I was attending a building’s funeral, or memorial service and having so many questions. Why is this church stripped of everything? How long has it been in the middle of this interchange? When was the roadway completed? Why was demolition stopped? Is there a community group, or perhaps the descendents of the departed have rallied? So many thoughts and questions. What are yours?
Presumably, the church was active until the overpass was constructed, until Autoroute 15 was widened or completed. The road was completed around the 1960s, though I cannot find a definitive date, nor one for roadway upgrades such as widening. A lot of google searching reveals only that the church was constructed as a Methodist Church in 1861 and active until 1975, but burials have continued until 2012.
And why strip the church? Perhaps to protect it from fire? It’s much harder to burn a brick building than one filled with wood and other flammable objects.
Does anyone care about this church? I cannot think of another example of a building stuck in the middle of an interchange. One on level, the interchanged caused the demise of the building. Yet, it’s also preserving this structure. It doesn’t appear to be a spot where anything else would be built, so why not leave the church there?
Do you know anything about this church? I’d love to hear more and find out it’s fate, hopefully with good news.
10 thoughts on “Abandoned Quebec: Henrysburg Church”
I was curious too.
Here to help your curisosity as well.
In french though
Thank you! I’ll have to get some help translating it, as it seems interesting.
What you’re doing, and the care and sincerely obvious behind it, is invaluable.
I passed thru there today , i always made a stop over at the church on my way to the drag races , so sad to see another bit if history gone!
Same! So sad. So unnecessary. 😦
This church looks so sad. I had no idea of the damage done there. I have many relatives buried in the cemetery and have heard close relatives talk about going there. I had relatives…Lena and John Speck… that lived in a farm close by but I think the farm burned and house is gone now. Please find a way to save and redo the church for families and historical reasons. The land and church are sacred.
Re the picture of the ‘vandalized’ marker – that belongs to my 3xGGrandmother. I don’t know that it was vandalized, possibly only deteriorated. The marker for her husband James Graham, isn’t evident at all. Margaret Carr died in 1873. We will be visiting her gravemarker this week.
Thanks for the information, Nancy. How was your visit to the gravemarker?
The visit was very emotional. My son was with me which made it even better. The cemetery is fenced off, gated and locked which will protect it going forward. We crawled under the gate – shhhhh 🙂
I’m glad you were able to get into the cemetery; too bad it’s locked (sort of). Had you seen the church? The cemetery is so lonely now, I think.