Base Gagetown Community  History Association



St Ignatius 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