Harwood

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In 1902, (other sources say 1906), Mr. Barron from Westminster Presbyterian Church on Bloor Street (now St. Andrew United) started holding Sunday services in a tent on the Long family lot on Lapp Street, later moving into the Long's living room. Soon afterward, Mr. Burgess bought a building on Weston Road and had it put on rollers and moved to 480 Maybank where it was used for several years.

In 1914, it was felt that the building on Maybank was too small. Miss Harwood donated a lot with fifty feet of frontage on Weston Road which became the site for Harwood Presbyterian Church. Later the neighbouring area and the local public school were named after her as well.

The Home Missions Board began to send out student ministers. In one year, a total of thirty two students visited Harwood! One of them, a Mr. Stone, took pneumonia and died. A list of other student ministers would include Messrs. Frisby, Smith, Hazelwood, Bernie, Thrower, Hunter, Davidson, Tipple, Toll and Stockton to name a few. Frequently, they would have lunch and supper in one of the members' homes, often that of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Devana. For several years, the congregation seldom knew until five minutes before 11:00 a.m. who would be the minister for that Sunday. Mrs. Devana would be there ready to help him on with his collar and gown while Mr. Devana would help out with the selection of appropriate hymns.

In 1924, the Sanctuary was built and in 1928 the front was added. The Hines brothers donated the bricks for the building. It was built with the idea that if it didn't last as a church it could be used as a factory! Two thousand dollars was borrowed to pay the labourers. The congregation of the day had fun and worked hard paying off the debt. They held bounteous church suppers, bazaars, a Shamrock dinner and Christmas card sales. On one occasion, the grand sum of over $100 was realized in the raffle of a home made quilt!

Miss Fallis, a deaconess, started a Mission Band. Henry Devana coached stage plays put on by the young people. The entire Devana family were active in most church activities over the years. They even served as church caretakers for some time. In the winter they were paid $4.00 per month to maintain the upkeep of the building.

As Harwood was a branch mission of the Westminster congregation at the time of Union, Harwood became a congregation of the United Church of Canada in 1925.

Although an active, resourceful congregation, Harwood remained quite small throughout its history, relying much of the time on "mission" income, first from its founding church and later from the United Church "Home Missions Board." For several years, the late Rev. A.J. Eagle from Chalmers United Church served as the local "supervisor" from Presbytery. Financial problems and declining enrolment led to the decision to join with the newly formed Mount Dennis United Church in December 1962. The original building still exists at 274 Weston Road just south of Rogers Road continuing as the home of the Apostolic Christian Church (Nazarean).

The Harwood Room was named at the time of the dedication of the new church building in June of 1965. The history and many years of Christian service of the former Harwood Congregation continue as an integral part of Mount Dennis United Church.

NOTES:

The original pump organ and the small font from Harwood United have been placed in the Memorial Chapel of the Mount Dennis building.

Also in the Memorial Chapel, are the original memorial plaques containing the names of those who served and those who gave their lives in the World Wars of 1914-1918 and 1939-1945.