Text on plaques
In 1793 some forty families including members of several clans, emigrated from Glenelg, Scotland, under the leadership of Alexander MacLeod and landed at St-John's Island (now Prince Edward Island). The following year they came to Glengarry county and petitioned for land. In August 1794, the majority were authorized to occupy 200 acres each in the vicinity of Kirkhill, which was for many years known as Glenelg. Alexander MacLeod, who was located on this property in 1794, was instrumental in founding of one of the earliest Presbyterian parishes, in Upper Canada here in Lochiel Township. During the War of 1812 he served as a Captain in the 2nd Regiment of the Glengarry militia and died March 4, 1850.
First Clan MacLeod Gathering
On July 1936 one thousand MacLeods from across North America gathered in the maple grove of Donald D. Macleod, 1/2 kilometre north of Dunvegan, "to honor the memory of their pioneer forefathers, and to meet with kith and kin. The first MacLeods came to Glengarry in 1786 and 1794 as part of the exodus of Highlanders to North America seeking land of their own. The Clan MacLeod Society of Glengarry, the first outside of Scotland, was formed in Dunvegan on November 2, 1935 by John D. MacLeod and a committee of MacLeods descendants. The 1936 Gathering was the Society's first project and its success inspired the formation of Clan Macleod societies throughout the world, helping to preserve Scottish heritage.
Erected by the Clan Macleod Society of Glengarry in 2006 with the assistance of the Ontario Heritage Trust.
A' Cheud Chruinneachhadh de
Chomann Fine Chloinn Ic Leòid
Air a' cheatthramh latha dhen luchar, 1936, chruinnich mile de shliochd Chloinn ic Leòid an doire-mhalpais Dhòmhnaill D. Mhic Leòid, mu leth-kilometer do thaobh a tuath Dhuin Bheagan. Thàinig iad às iomadh ceàrnaidh air feadh Ameireagaidh a Tuath a choinneachadh "gus urram a chur air cuimhne an sinnsearan agus gus fàilt a chur air an càirdean". Thàinig a' cheud chuid de shliochd Chloinn Ic Leòid a Ghleann A' Gharadh ann an 1786 agus 1794 mar phàirt dhen imrich-shluaigh de luchd na Gàidhlig a Ameireagaidh a Tuath a' lorg fearann dhaibh-fhèin. Chaid Comann Fine Chloin IC Leoid, a' cheud chomann dha leithid taobh a muigh Alba, a stèidheachadh air an darna latha dhen t-Samhainn, 1935 to cheannas Iain D. Mac Leòid maile ri comhairle de shliochd Chloinn Ic Leòid. B'e an cruinneachcdh ann an 1936 a' cheud oidheirp airson a' Chomainn agus chuir piseach a' chruinneachaidh an inntinn sliochd Chloinn Ic Leoid comainn Fine Cloinn Ic Leòid a steudheachadh air feadh an t-saoghail.
Togta le Comann Fine Chloinn Ic Leòid a Gleann A' Gharadh le cuideachadh bho Mhaoin- Urrais Dualchas Ontario
In 1812 the present church "St-Andrews" was built at the cost of two thousand pounds, though completion was somewhat delayed by the War of 1812.
In the new church, pews were set aside for the minister and for members at a cost of 20 pounds. Pews were also assigned to Sir Alexander McKenzie and the North Wets fur Company, of whom 6 were members of the church. Sir Alexander, interested in the building of the Scotch church at Williamston had given the bell inscribed with his name and that of Mr. Bethune.
As originally built, the gallery in the church extended across both ends and the north side - the high pulpit being on the south side with the precentors (sic) desk in front of it. Through the center from end to end were two rows of box pews which for Communion services were opened out to form tables with seats on either side. For almost a century few constructional changes have been made to the interior of the church. The beautiful handwork of the galleries and arches, the wrought iron lamp holders, memorial plaques, stained glass windows and the Roll of Honor of four Wars each hold a memory of service and sacrifice. In 1820 during the ministry of the Rev John McKenzie, friends in Scotland donated the sterling silver Communion service which is preserved in a specially designed cabinet. During the years many friends and families of the congregation have enhanced the beauty of the sanctuary.
The almost complete original handwritten Marriage and Baptismal records have been placed in the Archives. Photostatic copies of these are in the possession of the Church as well as other much prized documents, among them the last message from the first beloved minister , Rev J Bethune, to his people, and the signed "Call" to the Rev. John McKenzie in Scotland which, insofar as is known was the first call of a Presbyterian congregation in Upper Canada to a man who was to become the Moderator of the first Synod.
Adjoining the church is the hall which has been the center of church and community life since it was built in 1878. At that time it was a 2-storey building with the hall above and the lower part used for the horses and buggy or the sleigh. Later the hall was lowered to a cement foundation and put in its present form.
The cemetery, enclosed by an iron fence, is one of the most historic places in Eastern Canada. This is the burial place of many, prominent in the life of this country and of such widely known writers of its early history, Carrie Holmes McGillivray and Grace Grant Campbell. Here also, amidst the former members of their congregation, five St-Andrew's ministers have found a last resting place in the beautiful tree-shaded spot.
In 1962 the St-Andrew congregations at Williamstown and Martintown agreed to form one pastoral charge under the Rev. Douglas G MacKay.