A Trip To Clontarf

It used to be that by the third week of September the leaves on the trees had turned glorious shades of red, gold and orange, but that hasn’t happened yet this year. All that greenery wasn’t going to stop a ramble with some friends through rural Renfrew County yesterday.

We had an agenda starting off, in theory anyway. We were supposed to check out a couple of “ghost” towns, something you can find in abundance in the area. However, we got sidetracked more than once – which means the top destination on my list, Al Capone’s hideout, will have to wait for another day.

Since it is Sunday, I thought I’d share some pictures I took yesterday at St. Clement’s Anglican Church and Cemetery in Clontarf. If you’ve never heard of Clontarf, that’s no surprise. It fits the “ghost town” designation. Although there are still some people living in the area, they are far fewer in number than lived there 150 years ago.

When we saw the church from the highway I suggested we stop. I enjoy wandering through old graveyards – the headstones frequently tell wonderful stories. This one was small, only a few families represented and most of the markers seemed to me to be more recent additions. I guess the old ones had deteriorated too much and had to be replaced.

The church itself was locked which was no surprise. Even in the middle of nowhere, which is an accurate description of Clontarf, there is need for some security. I stuck my camera up to the window that was too high for me to see through and tried to take some interior pictures, with limited success.

Given the recent upkeep of the cemetery and the way the church looks, I would expect that the building is still being used for services. But there was nothing to indicate what time it was open. Maybe once a month? Maybe not that often.

The sign indicated it was part of the Parish of Eganville, which is not that far away.  People would have to drive to St. Clement’s, so they might as well drive to Eganville. I remember being the guest preacher at the church in Eganville almost 30 years ago. I don’t remember anyone mentioning Clontarf or St. Clement’s – but my memories from that far back have been known to be hazy.

Most of Clontarf has vanished into the pages of history. It is nice to know that the church still remains.


One comment

  1. one reads ‘erected by the Sebastopol…” what is Sebastopol? Apparently in the Crimea.

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