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Ministers in McLennan's Mountain, Blue Mountain, East River, St.
Mary's and Barney River
Hugh Fraser, who came to Pictou on the Hector
settled on McLennan's Brook. One son, Donald, known as Donald Miller
came with him. Another son, John, long known as John Squire arrived
a few years later. John McLennan another Hector passenger settled at
the mouth of McLennan's Brook and gave his name to that stream.
Rev. Donald A. Fraser was the first settled minister in McLennan's
Mountain, 1817 to 1837. The second pastor was Rev. Alex.
McGillivray, 1838 to 1862. Rev. Wm. Stewart succeeded him in 1863,
and was pastor for 44 years. In 1908 McLennan's Mountain
congregation and McLennan's Brook united and Rev. E. A. Kirker had
charge for two years. The present pastor Rev. Wm. Dawson, B.D., was
settled in 1910.
The first settlers at Blue Mountain came from Glen Urquhart,
Scotland in 1818. The first. church was built about 1834. The walls
were built of logs, as boards had to be sawed by hand. The second
church was erected in 1856, and the present church, in 1906. From
1834 to 1850 they had no regular pastor, but occasional supplies.
The first settled minister was Rev. D. B. Blair, from 1850 to 1890
when he resigned, and Blue Mountain and Garden of Eden became a
separate charge. Other pastors were Rev. D. M. Henderson, Rev. E. J.
Rattee, and Rev. F. L. Jobb. Present pastor, Rev. W. H. Sweet, came
in June 1909.
The first settlers of Barney's River were from the Highlands of
Scotland. William McKenzie settled at Barney's River in 1807. He had
six sons who were all land surveyors and road makers. John, the
eldest son had a high name as a civil engineer. He acted as
assistant to James Crearer, Pictou, in locating and building the
Albion Mines Railroad. He was a number of years in the Crown Land
Adam, second son, was for many years supervisor of roads from
Colchester County to the strait of Canso. James was deputy surveyor
for the County of Inverness. Francis spent much time in Cape Breton
making roads. Hugh, the youngest son, was for many years a surveyor
in South Africa.
Donald Bruce came to Pictou in the ship Harmony in 1822 and settled
at Upper Barney's River. Angus McKay, Donald McKay, Donald Douglass,
John McLeod and Alexander Grant came on the same ship. Margaret,
daughter of Donald Bruce married Edward Jackson, Pine Tree. George,
his second son married Christy, daughter of Hector Murray, by whom
he had Hector and other children. He was an elder under Dr. Blair.
Donald Robertson came from Perthshire, in 1801 and settled above
Avondale in 1819. He died in 1834 aged seventy three years, leaving
a large family. His wife died in 1870, aged one hundred years, one
month and one day. They had forty-eight grandchildren, of whom Rev.
Hugh A. Robertson, D.D., Erromanga, is one.
Angus Murray, a native of Sutherlandshire, married Elizabeth McKay,
by whom he had William, Andrew, and three daughters. He came to
Pictou with his family in 1812. He taught school in New Glasgow for
some time. His eldest son, William married in 1821 and had Angus,
Andrew, Helen, Jane, Eliza and Mary. Eliza was married to William
Murray, at Grand Narrows, C. B. and was the mother of the present
premier of Nova Scotia. Premier Murray narrowly escaped being born a
In 1830 a church was erected at Kenzieville. It stood near the
Cemetery. At the same time a church was built at Lower Barney's
River, near John Copeland's place. Rev. D. McKichan, Kirk minister,
was pastor of the two churches for many years.
In 1846, Rev. D. B. Blair, Free Church, came to Barney's River and
for 40 years was minister of the Free Church congregation. Other
ministers of the Kirk were: Revs. James Mair, James McDonald, A. J.
McKichan, J. R. McDonald, J. A. Cairns, E. Gillies, and D. K. Ross.
The present pastor, Rev. Wm. MacDonald, came Feb. 25, 1913.
The present church at East River St. Mary's was completed in 1873,
when the Kirk and the Free Church united. The following ministers
served the congregation: Revs. Hugh McKenzie, Alex. Campbell, C. B.
Pitblado, Robt. Cumming, John Ferry, Andrew Boyd, J. D. McFarlane,
A. D. Sterling, and Wm. MacDonald. Rev. J. H. Kirk is the present
Pictonians at Home and Abroad, 1914