When Andrew and I were on our way to Fort Dufferin the other day, I suggested he take the gravel roads because surely we’d see something interesting. And, we did!
This huge cross, standing on the edge of a field:
I could see it had a plaque. I had to know more, so Andrew stopped the car and I hopped out to investigate.
There was a tangle of canola growing in the ditch, but someone had been here before me, and had fought through the foliage and created an idea of a path:
I was able to get nice and close to the cross, where I learned that this is where Saint Pie Roman Catholic Church once stood. The building was moved to Letellier in 1891.
I can’t remember ever having encountered a roadside cairn or historical marker that was recording a location of something that had been moved away that early. But, when was the church built in the first place? And who attended it? It was 5 miles north of Fort Dufferin, so I’m guessing it had nothing to do with the fort.
Letellier would’ve been about three miles northwest of the church (as the crow flies), and apparently this is where the church building ended up. But, according to the Manitoba Historical Society, the building is no longer in Letellier either.
Turns out the church closed in 2015, and the building was sold and moved to Miami. Today it is a wedding venue.
BUT was that even the same building? This Pembina Valley Online article states the Saint Pie Roman Catholic Church of Letellier was built in 1967.
Clearly not the same building, then. I guess we can assume the original building was torn down around 1967. Perhaps it had been nearly 100 years old by then.
I wonder who was responsible for this roadside cross?
Perhaps the congregation of Saint Pie did it together, as their final act, in 2015.