Posted by: Manager / Associate Curator | May 14, 2017

Doran’s Corners – Willis Church

Once known as Doran’s Corners, at the junction of present day Wales Road and North Lunenburg Road East, sits an old cemetery, which is a reminder to many of the small church that shared the site for well over one hundred years. The gravestones date as far back as 1810. Transcriptions are posted at this LINK.

Between 1822 and 1828, Presbyterian Minister Rev. Joseph Johnston held services in homes. Prior to that time, people walked to Woodlands (now one of the Lost Villages) to attend services. In 1831 this Lutheran church was constructed on the site donated by Jacob Stata and apparently shared by the two congregations; the North Lunenburg Presbyterian congregation’s official origin dates to the prior year. In 1965, two other congregations merged with this one.

Our collection of relevant artifacts includes this 1911 calendar.

The 1920 Annual Report for the Congregations of Lunenburg, Wales and Newington, under the Rev. W.W. Conrad, shows the following surnames among the Lunenburg contributors: Adams, Arbuthnot, Bush, Conrad, Cook, Fickes, Gray, Markell, Moke, McColl, McEwan, McGillvray, Maginnis, Poapst, Rombough, Runions, Rupert, Shaver, Stata, Warner, Wereley, Williams and Wyatt. The minister’s annual stipend amounted to $300.

In 1925, the congregation joined the United Church of Canada. In 1929 repairs were made to the church, but a portion of the old foundation was left intact in order that the church could remain on its original foundation.

Another Willis United Church artifact in our collection is this commemorative plate on the 128th anniversary of the church.

In 1987, a large monument was erected commemorating the former church that had been demolished by members of the community due to the poor state of repair of the abandoned structure.

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