Saint Anne's Catholic Church - Chuchuwayha Indian Reserve No.2 - Hedley, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member ScroogieII
N 49° 20.241 W 120° 03.486
10U E 713706 N 5469122
Quick Description: Standing atop a prominent bench to the southwest of the Crowsnest Highway, this little white church has become something of a local landmark.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 5/2/2020 12:47:42 PM
Waymark Code: WM12D41
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Dorcadion Team
Views: 0

Long Description:
Built around 1910-11, the "turn-of-the-century" Ste. Anne’s Church has been restored recently by the residents of the Chuchuwayha Reserve as an archæological project. Nearby, just below the bench on which the church stands, is the original Oblate mission church which dates, according to author Cheryl Coull in A Traveller’s Guide to Aboriginal B.C., from the 1880s.

The church would have been built by the Oblate Missionaries, who built the first Catholic mission in the British Columbia Interior in 1859, Immaculate Conception Mission, at what would become the city of Kelowna. St. Anne's stands between its cemetery and a small grouping of houses, and about midway between the Similkimeen River, to the west, and Highway 3, AKA the Crowsnest Highway, to the east. It is about 2.5 kilometers southeast of the village of Hedley.

The Oblates of Mary Immaculate are an order of Catholic Priests founded in France in 1826. The order's Motto is "to preach the gospel to the poor", and accordingly, they sent missionaries all over the world.

The first small band of Oblates arrived in Canada in 1841. Six years later five priests headed west to the Oregon Territory to minister to the region's Indian peoples. This was a turbulent time between Indians and European settlers, and the priests often found themselves caught between Warriors and Cavalry.

The Missionaries moved into the Interior of British Columbia in 1858 to establish a Mission in what is now the Kelowna area. This was a central facility from which priests made trips to outlying Native settlements in Winfield, Westbank, Princeton, Hedley, Penticton, Six Mile Creek, the Head of Okanagan Lake and other places. For the area's European settlers, the priests offered a much needed link with civilization, providing schooling for their children and regular church services for all.

Founded in 1859 by Father Charles Marie Pandosy, an Oblate Missionary, to serve the Native Okanagan People, this was the first Roman Catholic Mission in the interior of British Columbia.
From a Sign at Immaculate Conception Mission
The small wood framed church is essentially Gothic Revival in style, with a steeply pitched gable roof. The simple rectangular nave sports three Roman arched windows on each side, a single centered wood door at the south end and a blank, windowless, doorless, north wall. Clad in shiplap horizontal wood siding, all the church's openings are framed with plain lumber. In lieu of a proper foundation, the church rests on several large stones. Over the entrance, at the south end of the gable roof, is the church's small bell tower. Double, Roman arched, wood slatted vents open each side of the square tower, while a flared eave, hipped roof renders protection from the elements. Pointed skyward from the peak is what appears to be a white painted metal cross. It can't be discerned whether a bell still hangs within.

We don't believe that the church holds regular services any longer, due to the lack of a priest, but it would still be used for funerals (its cemetery stands nearby), weddings, and possibly special services.
Chuchuwayha Reserve No. 2
Until the early 1890s, mining activity near Chuchuwayha seemed to be of little consequence. Although there had been growing interest and some placer mining along Twenty Mile Creek, miners staked no claims near Chuchuwayha. That changed in 1894, when prospectors began to stake formal mining claims on Nickel Plate Mountain, known to local Native people as Snazai’st, a Native term for the iron oxide striations that could be seen on its side. A usual spot for these prospectors to set up camp as they staked their claims was a flat area near the confluence of Twenty Mile Creek (now Hedley Creek) and the Similkameen River. By 1900, the area had become known to local prospectors as Hedley Camp, in honour of Robert R. Hedley, who managed a smelter in Nelson, British Columbia, and supported local mining interests.

The Chuchuwayha reserve, also known as Indian Reserve No. 2, was established in October 1870 by Commissioner (of lands and works) John Trutch’s brother-in-law, Peter O’Reilly, acting under the commissioner’s authority.

A map of the original reserve, plotted and drawn by J.B. Launders in November 1870 (presumably from John Trutch’s field notes), shows it to have been a stretch of land comprising 1,028 acres along the Similkameen River, bounded on the southwest side by the river and on the northeast by steep bluffs. The reserve included a small village and several potato gardens.

Dissatisfaction continued at Chuchuwayha because reserve boundaries excluded cultivated fields and suitable grazing land. Therefore, in 1888, Peter O’Reilly, who had replaced Sproat as Indian reserve commissioner in 1880, authorized an expansion of the reserve from 1,028 acres to 4,130 acres. The new land was described on a map as high mountain land, good range, bunch grass, and scattered timber... ...All of this new land became part of the main reserve, known as Indian Reserve No. 2.
From the UBC Library - P101
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Date the Church was built, dedicated or cornerstone laid: 1/1/1910

Age of Church building determined by?: Other reliable source

If denomination of Church is not part of the name, please provide it here: Roman Catholic

Street address of Church:
Chuchuwayha Indian Reserve No.2
Hedley, BC Canada
V0X 1K0

Secondary Website for Church or Historic Church Building: [Web Link]

If Church is open to the public, please indicate hours: Not listed

If Church holds a weekly worship service and "all are welcome", please give the day of the week: Not listed

Indicate the time that the primary worship service is held. List only one: Not Listed

Primary website for Church or Historic Church Building: Not listed

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