Prior owners of the Churchill Ave. property were aware of a church connection when I toured the building in the 1990's thus we knew a verbal tradition separate from the church tradition had been maintained.
When new owners removed the siding as part of their renovation efforts in 2018, the boards of the 'Auld Kirk' which had seen many years of service in three locations were visible along with their original square head nails. The structure is shown in an attached painting and photograph as being at the back of the church located on the Pownal Street side. The tower of the church faced the harbour.
The boards reveal that a one-story structure at the Churchill Ave. site was extended upwards to create a two story structure with a steeper pitch for the roof line. The boards also showed that at a later date an addition was placed on the right side of the building to enlarge the house and give an entry hall and improved staircase to the second floor. The colour of the boards also suggest that the bay window was likely a later addition, a theory which is reinforced by the fact that it does not sit on the original house foundation.
The old church building sat next to the original church site on Pownal St. for 20 years serving the congregation as a meeting space during the construction period and as a church hall until the new hall was added to the stone church in 1890's. It seems that the twice-moved structure left the Kirk site at the corner of Pownal and Fitzroy St. as a three sided structure with cross-bracing used to keep the open side stable during the move. It had been attached to the main church and thus would have lost the fourth wall when the building components were detached. Looking at the end fronting on Churchill Ave. today would suggest that this was the intact end thus was the exterior of the Kirk building and that the open (braced) side of the three sided structure was incorporated into the interior of the building.
The location was starting to develop more housing in the 1890's. In the 1880 Meacham's Atlas, Churchill Ave. ended at a stream running into Government Pond; it was known then as Cross Street and ran from Spring Park Rd. but ended at the stream.
The Kirk was also a contributor to other buildings in the general neighbourhood. The larger portion of the 'Auld Kirk' was also moved to find its third third home at 33 Euston Street; eventually that building was demolished in order to construct a triplex.
An early Kirk manse was likewise moved onto Euston St. in 1906 where it sits as 5 Euston today despite some alterations to the facade.
|The Kirk of St. James along with a manse at right prior to 1906.|
|The former Kirk of St. James manse at left after it was moved by J. J. MacKinnon to 5 Euston St.|
and converted into a two-tenement residence..
|The former Kirk of St. James manse now located at 5 Euston St. after conversion into an apartment building.|
|20 Brighton Rd., Charlottetown, PEI|