Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Finding Salvation in Paynton, SK

Aerial view of Paynton, courtesy of Sask History Online
Sometimes you forget about a place. I had forgot about Paynton.

I had a family friend years ago who was from Paynton, SK. I had not heard his name or the name of the town in years. It certainly didn't occur to me that I would be close to there on my recent trip to Lloydminster. However, when I was looking at my map, I saw it on my route and knew I'd have to stop there. After my stop in Waseca, we passed Maidstone and then arrived in Paynton. Much like Waseca it has a population of around 150 people. Unlike Waseca, it no longer has any grain elevators.

Some history for you! Paynton was settled in 1888 by 3 retired constables of  the North West Mounted Police. In 1903 Rev. Isaac Barr, who had secured a large area of land, brought 2000 colonists from England to settle the area. They are known as the Barr Colonists. Along the journey to the new colony, bickering lead to many of the colonists leaving to form their own communities. Some settled in Paynton and more settlers soon followed. It was incorporated in 1907.

Silver Maple.
I drove the quiet, unpaved streets and took photos of a couple of churches that have been converted into homes. I wasn't able to get in contact with my friend so I did another loop and was about to leave when I noticed someone outside one of the churches. The first person I had seen in town! This church was surrounded by a mix of outdoor decor and what I would call folk art. I stopped to ask the lady about it and she asked if I'd like to see inside the church. Uhhhh, ya I would! Her name is Mariann and she has turned the church into the Salvation Art Gallery. It features some of her art, art work by locals, and some antiques. Most of the pieces are made from recycled materials. I picked out a small metal deer figure and a tea cup and saucer set in my pattern that she happened to have. (Yes, I have a china pattern, see photo.)

Deer?
The church needs some work, and renovations are ongoing (to be expected in a century old building and not cheap I'm sure). The interior though!! (insert wow face). The rich mahogany coloured wood seemed to shine and the vintage pendant lights were gorgeous. From what I read this was originally a Presbyterian Church built in 1909 and turned over to the United Church in 1925. Perhaps they added the lights, if I have my style era right.

I imagine living in a historic building, church or house has it's pros and cons. I could picture myself doing something like that someday and admire the commitment it must take to keep a place like that going.








I enjoyed looking at everything in the church and chatting with Mariann, and because it is a small town, she knew my friend and directed me to of the houses he might be at. Turned out he wasn't in town after all that. Figures.

I heard later that there are 3 former churches that are all homes now. I didn't see the 3rd one. If you look at the old photo at the top you can see the United Church in the bottom right. I think I see the 2 other churches as well but I can't be 100% sure.

Former Catholic Church, now private residence. 
A new history book of Paynton has been written and is being released this fall. I think I will look into getting a copy. Happy travels! Next Saskatchewan stop is Bresaylor!



18 comments:

  1. I have read this post a few times already. I keep coming back to the interior photos of the church and how much I like it. I hope the owner is able to finish fixing up the outside.

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  2. I love these stories, thank you for telling them! I live in an old hospital but not in the chapel part unfortunately.

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    1. Thanks Onevikinggirl! I love all these little towns, some of these places seem so old but compared to where you live, Canada is just a baby!
      Wow..an old hospital! That's very cool!

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  3. I am from Paynton! My grandmother used to be the organist in the United Church..... I still remember how it used to smell from all the old lovely wood...

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    1. Andrea, that's fantastic, what a great memory to have of the church. If you happen to have an old photo of the inside, I'd love to see it!

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    3. Wasn't she the choir director?

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  4. I grew up attending this church. Once upon a time, I got married in this United Church! Wow!
    My Dad's family settled at Paynton in approximately 1914.
    Thanks for posting this article!
    Grace

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    1. Hi Grace, I wish I had taken more photos around town! I spent most of my visit at the church. Your family has a long history with Paynton, did you contribute to the new history book? I'd love to see an old photo of this church, especially the interior. Thanks for reading!

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    2. Is that gracey g? I was at yhat wedding in 72.
      Alex t

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  5. Thanks for posting this, Jenn. Some great old churches!

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    1. Thanks DM! Will have more churches for you soon!

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    2. Want to see a couple of cool churches?
      Rc church in paradise hill and united church in grenfell, sk. Rc church has frescoed ceilings by imhoff (stop and see gallery near St Walberg) and grenfell church has beautiful stain glass.

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    3. I will add those to my list, thank you! Always looking for new (old) places to visit.

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  6. Hi Jenn! :)) Lovely post! I love reading about the history of the towns in Canada. I haven't been West of Toronto, so thanks for the virtual visit! :))

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    1. Thanks Rain! I haven't been East of Winnipeg..if only this was my job to visit all these places!!

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  7. Great work, Jenn! I love the eroding shingles on the church roof.

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