This is only community in the eastern side of the township, because the only road north from Brockville was the notorious and deserted “smugglers’ highway’, was Manhard. Manhard is located at the junction of the 5th Concession, at the edge of the Manhard Bog. It was settled by David Manhard, a German, and his many sons.
David Manhard built an imposing Inn in the 1830’s, the only stage coach stop between Brockville and Merrickville. It was two stories on the front, three at the back and a full for storeys at the end. It contained a lot of windows at a time when window glass was heavily taxed.(Elizabethtown: The Last of the Royal Townships by Alvyn Austin pub 2009)
The Five Manhard Brothers
Sons of William Manhard, photographed on December 15th, 1866 are left to right: Henry 59, William 57, Seaman 53, Niamiah 51 and David 48.
Manhard United Church- the land for this church was purchased from David Manhard in December 1892 by the trustees of the Manhard settlement congregation of Wesleyan Methodists. The church however opened its’ doors on December 24, 1871, 21 years before the land was officially purchased.
In 1871 Manhard was part of the North Augusta Circuit with Mr. David Manhard as local leader. In 1884 it became part of the Maitland circuit. In 1904 it again changed becoming part of the Augusta circuit and the name changed to the Algonquin Circuit. The parsonage was changed from Maitland to the corner brick house in Algonquin.
After Union in 1925 this residence was sold and one was purchased in North Augusta to become the United Church Manse. In 1971 the circuit was known as the North Augusta Pastoral Charge.
Taken from the Brockville Recorder, Thursday, December 7, 1871:
“Dedication: A new Weysleyan Church has been erected in the Manhard neighbourhood, a few miles from Brockville. The church will be dedicated Sunday the 24th The Chairman of the district, Rev. J. Williams, will preach in the morning and other clergy in the afternoon and evening. Services commence at half past ten, half-past two, and half-past six. A collection will be taken at the close of each service. A tea meeting is also to be held on the 28th when speeches and music will be the order of the day.”
Originally the church had a gallery at the back. The porch was built in the 1930’s and was used as a woodshed and housed two box stoves. When the gallery was removed the stoves were moved inside.
The following information is taken from the booklet “Centennial of Manhard United Church 1871-1971
“The church received its name “Manhard” because of the many Manhards who had settled in the area.
Previous to the building of the church people worshiped in the Manhard School (on the 6th Concession) as early as 1859. This being the only place of worship, the people of Fairfield joined with them walking a distance of 2 ½ miles.
Those were the days of the horse and buggy. Sheds were built to shelter the horses in all kinds of weather. They were constructed to extend in a North-South direction.
The ground floor was used as a dining space. Booths were outside for selling ice cream. Varied programmes of music and humour followed the hot supper of delicious home cooked food.
No porch existed until the early thirties. Originally there was a gallery in the church. The back of the church had two doors at the entrance, There was a large wood box in the porch which fed two huge box stoves inside, thus having no wood inside the church. Electric lights replaced the kerosene lams in 1951 and electric heat replaced the antique wood stoves in 1965.
Young People’s Association
During the ministry of Rev. Lalonde, 1929-1930, a young people’s group was organized. About fifty members met in homes every two weeks for social, literary, devotional and missionary programmes. During the war years the association disbanded as attendance was dwindling due to some of the boys going into the services and others to projects outside the community.
In the early years a Ladies’ Aid group of dedicated women held meetings and raised money to help finance the work of the church.
After Union in 1930 the Women’s Association was organized in accordance with the Manual of the United Church under the guidance of G.F. Lalonde with Mrs. Charles Edwards as the president and Mrs. Fred Bain as Sectary Treasure. This organization raised money in various ways such as quilting, socials, chicken suppers, crokinole parties, and penny bag races where members were divided into sides, the losers preparing delicious meals, the winners humorous concerts. Travelling baskets were used where each member contributed an article as well as purchasing one and it went on its way.
In 1962 under the leadership of Ref. James Gibson the W.A. became a new organization known as the ‘United Church Women’. In 1971 with Mrs. Edward Williams as president it continued to raise raise money in various ways for the upkeep of Missions, Manse, Camp for Youth, Summer Schools, etc.
Manhard’s School (School Section # 13)
Located on the 6th Concession
from the School Superintendents Report (Ontario Archives)
1850: Stone Building, size 18×24, construction date 1847, condition: Good
1854: Stone building, first opened in 1844