230, rue Principale
Saint-Jacques-de-Leeds
(Québec)  G0N 1J0
418.424.0212

This Heritage Site is full of historical footprints. You will discover St.James Anglican Church and Cemetery, the Alexander Rectory, the Leeds Model School, the Sunday River School and the Leeds Methodist Cemetery.

 

St.James Church & Cemetery

St.James Anglican Church is unique because of its polygonal shape. It was crafted by Leeds’ first settlers with milled logs. It was consecrated by the Anglican diocese bishop, Reverend George Jehosaphat Mountain, who had himself started the Leeds mission several years prior.

From 1831 to 1945, Leeds Anglican mission was the center of the missionary circuit. Nowadays, there is sometimes a service in July, or for special events such as marriages, births or deaths.

St.James Church is the oldest religious site of the region, and thus holds great heritage importance.

 

Leeds Model School

In 1845, the first Leeds School Commission was established. Its language was English and its religion Protestant because most of the settlement’s inhabitants were Protestants.

After the first school's closing, and the second school was destroyed by fire, in 1894 the school commissioners decided to build a new school which was completed 2 years later.

Located on Main Street in the upper part of town, the Leeds Model School opened its doors in January 1897. It closed permanently in 1945.

After several changes of ownership, the administrative committee “Corporation du Patrimoine du Canton de Leeds” saved the school from demolition in 1994. It was then moved to the Heritage Site, a difficult task considering the size of the building 30 feet x 70 feet. To facilitate the move, the School was moved in winter time and then restored once located on its new foundation.

 

Alexander Rectory

It was Reverend James Lynn Alexander who constructed this building in 1837. Made entirely of stone, the house has an imposing stature.

In 1841, the Reverend sold his residence to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.

During Reverend Joseph Rotera's pastorate from 1888 to 1924, major work was done on the house. A long porch was added to the front in 1914.

After Reverend Joseph Rotera's departure, the rectory would be used sporadically only. Between 1942 and 1953, it welcomed young boys from summer camps from all around the province. Some of them left their signatures inside the windows' shutters.

After 50 years of being uninhabited, the rectory was restored: the walls were repainted, the roof redone, and the inside decorated as in the 19th century.

 

Sunday River School

Also known by the name “School #5”, the Sunday River School was located near the Sunday River near the 10th range. The first school was built around 1870, and closed its doors in 1912. In 1927, at the same location, a new school began. It operated until 1943.

In 1948, the building was sold and moved to Lemesurier. In September 2000, it was moved to the Heritage Site after its owners, Francis and Isabelle Murphy, donated it to the “Corporation du Patrimoine du Canton de Leeds”.

 

Leeds Methodist Cemetery

Hidden under pine trees, perched on one of Chemin Craig's mounds, lays one of the oldest cemeteries of Leeds Township. It belongs to the Methodist community which originated in 1830. The pioneer Archibald MacLean's spouse, Mary McKillop, is buried there. John Lambly, who was one of the first land-clearers of Halifax Township, is interred there along with his family. John Lambly was an important individual in the region; he was the Chief Commissioner in the district of Chaudière in 1841, mayor of the Municipality of the County of Megantic, as well as the mayor of the Municipality of Leeds-Thetford in 1854.