2012-20 St Peter`s Rocksborough Anglican Church, Bracebridge, Ontario


St Peters Rocksborough, Painting by Wendie Donabie, 8x10, Acrylic Ink on Canvas 2012

2012-20 St Peter’s Rocksborough Anglican Church


8 x 10 inches, unframed


One of the hidden gems in Muskoka is St Peter’s Rocksborough, a small log church that held its first service on May 7, 1933. Sitting on a rocky slope among the pines on the road to Fraserburg, the church blends well with the surroundings. Today the church is used occasionally for weddings and baptisms and for monthly Sunday services thoughout July and August. Click here to see the photo that inspired the painting.


A quiet sanctuary on the hill: St. Peter’s Rocksborough

COMMUNITY Apr 17, 2008 Huntsville Forester
Roxborough church

ST. PETER’S ROCKSBOROUGH stands on a rocky slope just off the road to Fraserburg as it has for 74 years. – Photo by Brett Thompson

Its spires do not jut from the horizon, nor do its bells cut through the morning silence to herald the top of the hour. Quietly and proudly, St. Peter’s Rocksborough stands on a rocky slope just off the road to Fraserburg, as it has for 74 years, blending with the surroundings it was constructed from.

Elenor Bowers (1846-1932), a Draper township pioneer, dreamed of an Anglican church built on the rock amongst the pines. Soon after her death, her eldest daughter, Mary Jane White (1864-1941) donated the land to the diocese, and volunteers set to work.

Aub White, 86, Granny Bower’s great-grandson, helped her by making sure she had enough wood in the house to keep the stove on through the day.

He remembers helping to build the church. Logs were retrieved from an old log cabin and pulled to the site. Big, flat slabs of granite were positioned to create a sound foundation on the bedrock.

The Leeders, Shires, Kingshotts, Whites and Dixons are founding families of St. Peter’s. Like  White, Kathleen Kingshott still lives within earshot of the church.

The details of some of its first services are recorded on the inside cover of her 50-year-old prayer book, noting services with over 100 people packing the church for special occasions.

Fifty-six people attended the first service, held on the evening of May 7, 1933.

On Oct. 17, 1933, 24 young Anglicans were confirmed and 86 came to watch.

“Not all of those people fit in the church,” says Kingshott, 92. Her brother-in-law, Edgar Kingshott, married Hazel Cairns there in 1941 — the church’s first wedding.

She recalls the property quickly becoming the scene of a variety of activities, from picnics to sewing classes.



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