Bethel – A Hamlet in Elizabethtown

Bethel1 Bethel

This fine old farming community, a mile east of Row’s corners, grew around the homestead of the early pioneers of Grenville County and Augusta Township. Settlers were farming here in the 1790’s. A Methodist congregation was thriving here in 1830 (though they had no church).

The community derived its’ name from the Biblical ‘Bethel of the Holy Land’. Just as the prophet Jacob called his old home town Bethel, so did the pioneer settlers of this area.

Bethel United Church stands in the centre of this community as a tribute toits early settlers . The first Methodist services were held in the home of pioneer William Dalton, who threw their home open to church services for more than 40 years, until the congregation built the present church in 1878. Sunday services were also held in the nearby Read’s School.

Bethel Methodist Ch 3938 Cty Rd 26 July 2016 (2)
Bethel United Church July 2016


There was a Temperance Hall in Bethel that was built in 1855 on the Third Concession Road. It was demolished in 1928 after deterioration proved too much for repairs.

Bethel was a hotbed of Masonic activity since 1783, and boasted as being one of the oldest Masonic Lodges in Ontario – “St. James Lodge No. 74”.


Bethel Masonic Hall Juy 2016
Masonic Hall July 2016


Read’s Public School, a log structure, was built in 1831 and served for nearly 50 years until a stone building was erected in 1880 on the same plot of land. The land had originally been donated by UEL Pioneer Guy Carleton Read (1785-1849). The Read family gave their name to the school and the nearby Read’s Cemetery, which dates back to 1800.

The original log school was also used by Methodist circuit riders for church services.

Among the early teachers were Jehiel Collins, in the early 1800’s; William Garvey around 1820; John Walker 1854; Tom Henderson 1855; Catherine Wright 1858 and many others.

Bethel is located on County Road 26 east of Row’s Corners at Bethel Road intersection

(Recorder and Times, Darling Scrapbook Collection Book 3 pgs 17-29)

Read's Sch 100th Anniv in 1981- Darling Bk3
Read’s School 100 Anniversary 1981


Reads Public 1921
Read’s School Class of 1921
Read's School c1900 - Darling Bk3 (2)
Read’s School Class c1900


Ed Hough's House in Bethel - Darling Bk 3

Ed Hough’s House in Bethel

Bethel- Darling Bk 3
Bethel United Church looking east
Bethel Masonic - 100th Anniv. 2 57-113
Masonic Lodge 100th Anniversary 1957
Bethel Masonic - 100th Anniv. 3 57-113
Bethel Masonic Lodge 100 Anniversary 1957
Bethel Church Sunday School Picnic 1914- Darling Bk3 (1)
Bethel Sunday School Picnic 1914
Rev William Philip pastor Bethel 1877-80 -Darling Bk3 (1)
Rev. William Philip, Pastor Bethel 1877-1880
Manhard, Maggie nee Robertson- Bethel- Darling Bk3 (1)
Maggie Manhard, nee Robertson
Landon Family 1913 Bethel - Darling Bk3 (1)
Landon Family in 1913
Byers, Wallace & Simpson, Billy - Bethel- Darlig Bk3 (3)
Wallace Byers and Billy Simpson










Bethel Road sign July 2016 (1)