Our Little Church
I went down to the library yesterday to see what was on those microfilms in Grandma’s collections. I had thought these were scans of her Women’s Institute Tweedsmuir histories of Essex County but it seems I still have some looking to do to find those.
What was on the two reels that I have is a couple of the scrapbooks she had copied and turned over to the Leamington Library.
One of the sections on these films were histories that she wrote and compiled about our tiny little church, Ruscomb United, which was closed and merged with Woodslee back in 1987.
What a trip back it was, reading the various articles in her collection. I did not know that Ruscomb United (originally Methodist) was the first Protestant church in Rochester township. It used to be called The Rochester Church. And the cemetery was The Rochester Cemetery. Both the church and the cemetery were established in 1855, long before there were any Protestant churches in nearby Woodslee and Comber.
The original church was down across the tracks where the cemetery still is. The land was donated by Conrad Simon because he wanted to be buried on his own farm. The church was eventually moved and rebuilt, moved to the crossroads where Ruscomb is now sometime around 1890 (must find the exact date). One of the articles says that the church was opened just two days after Stella Fenner was born. I don’t know why the writer thought to mention this, but I’m glad she did. Stella (later Trimble) was my great aunt.
As I read through her various documents, I saw the names of my grandparents, my great grandparents, my great aunts, uncles, cousins, my mom, my dad … even my sisters and I (we were favourites on the church,lodge, father-daughter banquet circuits back then. We often made the papers 😉
As I scanned through the documents, the tears welled up … it was our place in the world. And I really miss it. And all those people who made Ruscomb what it was.
And it’s the place where I’m starting, transcribing all these documents into a more accessible format so they can be read by all.
Because, for me and for all the other Fenners, that’s where it all began …