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First Baptist Church has been a Collingwood landmark since the 1870s

In this week's Remember This, we take a look at the history of the church at the corner of Third and Pine Street

How many times have you walked past Collingwood’s First Baptist Church at the corner of Third and Pine Streets? Have you ever wondered how the building has changed over its tenure in Collingwood’s history? 

Today’s featured photograph was taken in 1913, shortly after the drastic addition of the vestibule and square tower at the building’s south-east corner. Not much appears to have changed over the past 106 years; however, a noticeable absence is the scalloped, decorative ridgeline.

This decorative feature is present in the earliest known photograph of the church in the Collingwood Museum’s collection (Photograph 2). Dated 1899 by the Huron Institute, this second photograph shows the building’s 1892 addition of a “room at the side of the church” (Reflections: An Historical Anthology, p. 254).

According to the First Baptist Collingwood’s website, “the Baptist cause was established in Collingwood on October 7, 1873 by thirteen charter members who met first in a stable. During the next three years, the Reverends Ross, Woodward and Northrop gave pastoral leadership for this fledgling work. In 1876, the Rev. James Coutts came to minister to a congregation nearing 100. During his pastorate, plans were made to build a church. The members and friends of the Church, known officially as First Baptist, built a brick building at the corners of Third and Pine Street, the location to this day. Upon completion of the building, a donation of lumber was received and the members laid the first boardwalk, which completely encircled the block on which the Church stood.”

If you have any information to share about today’s historic building, or the history of First Baptist Collingwood, please contact Collingwood Museum staff at mshaw@collingwood.ca.

Remember This is a weekly series of historic photographs submitted by the Collingwood Museum to CollingwoodToday.ca. These photographs were originally collected and documented by the Huron Institute in an historical catalogue entitled Huron Institute Paper and Records: Volume III. Much of Collingwood’s early history has been preserved due to the dedication and foresight of the early museum’s founders, namely its secretary-curator David Williams, upon its establishment in 1904.