Roman Catholic Church
Petersville, Queens County, NB
Submitted by Suzanne McCann
This is an abandoned church, within Base
Gagetown limits. It once sat in the village of Petersville (Petersville
Hill) along the Saint John to Fredericton Highway, where Petersville Camp
now exists. It stood on the crown of the hill, a short way from the Cemetery.
Thanks to Suzanne McCann, who sent a few pages
of photocopied material about the Church I now have a fair sketch of its
history - rather I should say their history, as there were five church
buildings. These clippings show two of these buildings. Since photocopies
of news print does not necessarily reproduce well, I had to doctor the
scanned images to produce the photos below. However, they are now clear
enough to get a good idea of the church.
Many people who passed the Petersville area in
the days before the Federal Government expropriated the land for military
use, were very familiar with the large, imposing building, which sat on
top of Petersville Hill. The two photos directly below, are of the building
most of us will remember. This was the fifth (and last) St. Ignatius Church,
which served the area until its last mass was held on 10 Jun 1956.
view coming from the direction of Saint John
view coming from the direction of
Very few of us will remember the fourth
St Ignatius Church building was erected in 1885, and was destroyed by fire
on 12 May 1933. It was similar in style of the building that replaced
it, as can be seem by the photo below.
According to the writer of an article in The New Freeman
(4 March 1989, page 8, by Bob Merzetti) the first building was built in
1837, and was replaced by a second building in 1863. This building did
not last long, being destroyed in the great Saxby Gale in 1869. The article
gives many details of the priest who served the area, and apparently was
based upon the recollections of two brother, John and Dan Hogan, who grew
up in area, and supplied the two smaller photos above for the article.
The larger photo above, accompanied an article , also in The
New Freeman (25 Jul 1992, page 10) announcing a reunion of former residents
of Enniskillen and Petersville, to be held Aug 1-2, of that year.
A third article, titled "This was Petersville" in Home and
Country * (May 1980?, page 3) gives
an historical look at the village
as a whole, as well as of the church.
* I am not familiar with this publication. It may be that it is a portion
of The New Freeman, or may be a separate publication. More details on the
church and the community can be had from Suzanne McCann.
11 Nov 2002