The Chapel at White Album Weddings » the sweetest chapel in the valley

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History

 

The Sumas Methodist Church was one link in a chain of churches that tied Lower Fraser Valley population centers together. Many of the first Euro-Canadians to settle in the Sumas area arrived from Ontario, products of farming or small town backgrounds and members of the Methodist Church. The church, built in 1886 on land donated by George Chadsey, was the third Methodist Church in the Chilliwack area.  Source: Chilliwack Museum and Achieves

The church building has survived two major floods in 1894 and 1948, and bears the scars of these floods on a corner post where deep gouges mark the high water marks. Although repairs to parts of the building have stemmed the tide of deterioration, the only alteration to the original design appears to be a re-configuration of the front entrance. Completed before the turn of the century, this change was brought about because coffins could not be carried through the front door without being stood on end.

In 1925, the Methodist and Presbyterian Churches across Canada joined together to form the United Church. The Sumas congregation followed suit and the name was changed to the Sumas United Church.

In 1971, the church closed when declining attendance led to the congregation joining with Carman United Church in Sardis. Since that time the property has been sold several times and the building used by other church groups and businesses.

Date the Church was built, dedicated or cornerstone laid: 1/1/1886

http://bcheritage.ca/chilliwack/history/cov/sumas.htm

In 1869 a Methodist Church was built on Yale Road, near Atchelitz Creek. The church, the first in the area, served the small communities developing at Sumas (now Greendale), Chilliwack and Sardis. By 1882, Chilliwack had its own Methodist Church. Sumas followed with their own church in 1886. When services at the church ended in 1971, a succession of owners followed. Finally, in 1996, Henry Meerkerk purchased the building and over the next five years lovingly restored the building to its former glory. The building now serves as a wedding chapel and photography studio

SOURCE: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bobkh/1770560326/

 

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Sumas Methodist Church 1886

Greendale was originally known as Sumas. The name change was made in 1951 as too many towns had the same Sumas name. The area is one of the oldest settled farming communities in Chilliwack.In 1858, the Royal Engineers, of the Boundary Survey, [1858-1862] established a camp at Sumas near what would become, after 1942, the bridging area of the Royal Canadian Engineers. A depot to supply this camp, consisting of little more than a hut, was established near the mouth of the Sumas River where it enters the Fraser. This “hut” and the Hudson’s Bay Company Saltery located near the same site were the first colonial structures built in Sumas.

Early settlement in the Sumas area focused upon the development of farmlands and through pre-emption several farms were developed. These farms included livestock rearing, dairy and grain production. Butter was a particular source of income for the early farmers in this area, and the Chadsey family farms, in Sumas, sold many pounds of butter to gold seekers on their way to the Cariboo.

A colonial post office was established, in 1867, at Miller’s Landing, known as Sumas. The post office was situated in David W. Miller’s store that he had built in 1866. By 1872, one year after British Columbia entered confederation, the post office opened as a Dominion Government post office and called Sumas.

The Sumas Methodist Church was one link in a chain of churches that tied Lower Fraser Valley population centers together. Many of the first Euro-Canadians to settle in the Sumas area arrived from Ontario, products of farming or small town backgrounds and members of the Methodist Church. The church, built in 1886 on land donated by George Chadsey, was the third Methodist Church in the Chilliwack area.

The church building has survived two major floods in 1894 and 1948, and bears the scars of these floods on a corner post where deep gouges mark the high water marks. Although repairs to parts of the building have stemmed the tide of deterioration, the only alteration to the original design appears to be a re-configuration of the front entrance. Completed before the turn of the century, this change was brought about because coffins could not be carried through the front door without being stood on end.

In 1925, the Methodist and Presbyterian Churches across Canada joined together to form the United Church. The Sumas congregation followed suit and the name was changed to the Sumas United Church.

In 1971, the church closed when declining attendance led to the congregation joining with Carman United Church in Sardis. Since that time the property has been sold several times and the building used by other church groups and businesses.

Flooding was a major problem and led to the draining of Sumas Lake, beginning in 1922 and the construction, in 1924, of the Vedder Canal. Although the addition of dykes, drainage ditches, additional drainage canals and a pump station at Barrowtown, the area was hard hit by the 1948 flood. At that time neglect had caused the dykes to be covered by trees, brushes and brambles. High waters in 1948 created flood conditions and the Sumas [Greendale] dyke failed. Today evidence of these 1948 floodwaters remains in existence, and may be seen at various Greendale landmarks, such as the Sumas Church.

A further reminder of when the old Trans-Canada Highway influenced Greendale’s commercial development can be found with the few remaining cement mileage markers that might be seen along the length of what is now called Yale Road.

Community of Villages : Sumas/Greendale

Age of Church building determined by  Historical Society