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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 office, Halifax.

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 Pictonian.

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 pastor.

Additional Resources

Ministers Born in the McLennan's Mountain Section

Pictonians at Home and Abroad, 1914


Pictou County

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