[DESTROYED] St. Ann's Parish - Lytton, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 50° 13.875 W 121° 34.957
10U E 601089 N 5565303
A Mission Church of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church of Lillooet, St. Ann's is now 106 years young.
Waymark Code: WM1141V
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 08/12/2019
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member Iris & Harry
Views: 19

From Sunday, June 27, to Tuesday, June 29, 2021 Lytton broke the all-time Canadian high-temperature record, with each day hotter than the last. The heat peaked on Tuesday when the temperature reached 121 F (49.6 C). Then, late Wednesday afternoon, June 30, a wildfire broke out in the town and, aided by strong winds, burned 90% of Lytton to the ground in just minutes, including St. Ann's Parish.
Wildfire Races Through Lytton.

While the present St. Ann's has managed to remain unburnt and standing for over a century, its predecessors were not nearly so lucky. The first St. Ann's was likely built prior to the construction of Lytton's oldest church and oldest extant building, St. Mary's Anglican, built at the cemetery around 1872. The local First Nations people, for reasons unknown, took a genuine disliking to either the Priest or the Catholic Church. As a result, three Catholic churches in Lytton 'mysteriously' burned to the ground in quick succession. Recognizing the futility of remaining and rebuilding for a third time, the Catholic Priest packed his bags and vamoosed, soon to be replaced by the Natives' first choice, an Anglican pastor.

Years later the Catholic citizens of Lytton felt the need of their own Catholic church, once again building one in 1912. Much like its predecessors, it lasted but one service, whereupon it went the way of the others - up in smoke! This time, however, its demise was blamed on a faulty chimney and it was replaced with Lytton's fifth Catholic church the next year.

A fairly simple Gothic Revival structure, the church's stuccoed nave is a plain rectangle, with a centered steeple/bell tower recessed midway into the front, having an entrance door in its centre, surmounted by a glass filled Renaissance style transom. Side windows in the nave are similar. The steeple rises above the nave's gable end, then steps in at the top of the belfry to a small, square, wood covered lantern with a hipped roof and a simple wooden cross at its peak. The belfry is vented only by wooden slats in the front of the tower, with a glass filled round arched transom at its top. Below is a matching half circle window.

At the rear of the nave is an addition; too large to be a chancel or altar, it has a full basement and likely serves as a small hall.

Lytton - Hot Spot of the Interior

This little town, nestled at the foot of a mountain overlooking the meeting of the Thompson and Fraser rivers, has long had the reputation of being the hottest spot in British Columbia. The temperature often has been known to reach 45 degrees Celsius in the shade! However, there is another cause to refer to Lytton as the province's hot spot, one that has resulted in drastic changes over the years.

This is a community shaped by fire. Only a few old buildings remain; all the rest burned to the ground in the series of fires that have plagued the town since the days of its first settlement in the 1850s... ...Lytton is a hot spot because of high temperatures, a dry climate, and steady winds making it the driest location in the entire province. Once a fire gets a start, it can easily get out of control. All the buildings in Lytton up to the 1930s were of wood frame construction, and fire-fighting equipment was minimal.

The Catholic church is an intriguing landmark in Lytton, and is presently one of our oldest buildings. Fires have played a very interesting part in its history, too. In fact, it appears to have been fire that first enabled the rival Anglican Church to establish itself in Lytton. The Ashcroft Journal of 4 April 1968, quoting from the work of UBC professor Margaret Prang, noted: "Occasionally the Indians would prefer one denomination over another, i.e. in Lytton. The Catholic Church there 'mysteriously' burned down three times after the Indians expressed their wish for an Anglican Minister. The Catholic Priest did leave and his place was taken by an Anglican Minister!"

St. Ann's Catholic Church was rebuilt by the congregation in 1912. The Canadian Northern Railway construction crew, which was in Lytton at the time, provided much of the necessary labour.

The new church was used for just one service and then promptly burned down, apparently due to a defective chimney. It was rebuilt the following year and is still standing.
From the Lytton Museum
Date the Church was built, dedicated or cornerstone laid: 01/01/1913

Age of Church building determined by?: Other reliable source

If Church holds a weekly worship service and "all are welcome", please give the day of the week: Sunday

Indicate the time that the primary worship service is held. List only one: 1:00 PM

Street address of Church:
395 Fraser Street
Lytton, BC Canada
T1W 1P3

Primary website for Church or Historic Church Building: [Web Link]

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

If denomination of Church is not part of the name, please provide it here: Not listed

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

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