Our History

(7) The last Rector to live in the Riverside parsonage was The Rev, Montague Gower Poole (1886-1898). Rev. Poole found the parsonage in a shocking state. From then on, the Rector and his family have always lived in Morrisburg.

The next Incumbent, The Rev. George S. Anderson, might well be described as a “builder of churches.” He had begun his ministry in Morrisburg in 1892 and almost immediately assumed the responsibility for overseeing the construction of the second St. James’ Church, salvaging as much stone and slate as possible from the first church. The tower, constructed in 1878 was incorporated into the new St. James’. In 1899, Rev. Anderson became Rector of the newly re-aligned “old Parish of Morrisburg.” Not only had “old St. James’” served its purpose, but so had “old Trinity.” Repairs were badly needed on the wood frame building, the membership was badly diminished due to the prosperous growth of Morrisburg, and finances simply were not available to build a new church or repair the old one. The wealthy Whitney/Crysler family was now located in Ottawa but retained their strong interest in Trinity Church. Edwin Canfield Whitney and his wife Sarah Crysler Whitney were millionaires and generous philanthropists. They welcomed the opportunity to donate a new church to the glory of God and in loving memory of their parents and United Empire Loyalist forbears. Mr. Whitney’s parents were Richard Leet Whitney (1805-1883) and Clarissa Jane Fairman (1809-1891). Mrs. Whitney’s parents were John Pliny Crysler (1801-1881) and Mary Wesley (1812-1864). The stained-glass windows over the Altar in Holy Trinity are memorials to these people.

Mr. Benson S. Wickware, master builder, of Morrisburg was engaged to build the new church. Mr. Wickware had recently completed the building of the “new St. James” and other fine buildings in the area. The “new Trinity Church” was built of stone in 1902, using the design of “new St. James”’ in scaled-down form. A further endowment which continues to provide for the on-going support of the Church was given by the Whitney family. The church was consecrated in 1904 at a magnificent ceremony presided over by The Right Reverend John Charles Hamilton, D.D., first Bishop of the recently formed Diocese of Ottawa (1896). Prominent officials including The Governor General, Lord Minto, Members of Parliament, Officials from the U.S.A., and distinguished clergy and laity of the Diocese attended.

Mr. Whitney’s brother, Colonel James Pliny Whitney, member of the Provincial Legislature for Dundas and soon to become Premier of Ontario, and members of the Whitney family, were in attendance. Premier Whitney was knighted and became Sir James Pliny Whitney in 1908. When Premier Whitney died in 1914 he was interred in the family plot with its massive Crysler & Whitney monuments. The Province of Ontario erected a magnificent monument to his memory. These monuments are now located in the present churchyard. The new church retained the name Trinity Anglican Church and acquired a new name as well, “Whitney Memorial Church.”