St. Margaret's Church, River Denys Mountain

by Ned MacDonald

St. Margaret's Church, River Denys MountainBy the year 1833, thirty Highland families settled in River Denys Mountain and soon afterward started construction on a school and church.

This church is the oldest public building know to be standing in Inverness County built in 1841 under the direction of Rev. Alexander MacDonnell. At the time Father MacDonnell was the first resident priest of Judique and served the River Denys area. He died in the same year the church was completed. He was followed by a Rev. Michael McKeagney who remained for eight months and offered the first Mass in the new Church. Father McKeagney's replacement was Rev. Alexander MacDonald who served for many years. In 1875 the Church's next pastor was Rev. Donald MacIsaac, born in Inverness and ordained in Antigonish in 1858. Father MacIsaac administered the parish of Glendale and under his leadership built a church there in 1876. This parish combined with River Denys in the same year whereupon Father MacIsaac built a house at River Denys Road.

It is interesting to note that a native of River Denys Mountain, Duncan MacDonald (born in 1848) ordained in 1876) entered the priesthood and became pastor of Bay St. Lawrence (1876) and Canso (1878.)
This building is typical of early modified Gothic architecture with the door in the gable end. The windows are clear glass panels gothic in design. The interior is wood panel and carefully preserved.
Because of its antiquity and importance in the lives of a vanished community it is a significant Heritage property.