St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church
Settlers of Kilmaurs had been dreaming of establishing a Presbyterian community since their arrival in the 1820s, but it was not until 1841 that a small church was established at nearby Dirleton as part of St. Andrew’s Parish. As the congregation grew, so did its need for space. In 1886, a new stone church was built on donated land in Kilmaurs, using stone quarried from McTiernan’s pit. The stone had been intended for the Chats Georgian Bay Canal project of 1845, an ambitious plan to use the Ottawa River as a steamship conduit between Ottawa and the Great Lakes. When the project was abandoned, the stone was put to good use: building the Kilmaurs Church, affectionately known as the “Wee Kirk,” as well as St. Isidore’s Roman Catholic Church in South March.
Over the years, as its congregation decreased, the Wee Kirk fell into disrepair, almost losing its back wall, but thanks to the fundraising efforts of its dedicated congregation, including many musical evenings, the church is still going strong today.