History Snapshot – 603 Wellington Crescent
Our home at 603 Wellington Crescent was built during 1912014 by H.W. Hutchinson, for the local managing Director of the John Deere Plow Company. The architects were Ross and Macfarlane, a Montreal firm which also designed the Hotel Fort Garry. The ornate fireplace in the living room and the mahogany wood staircase in the central hallway are two of the most distinguishing features of our home.
In the late 1920’s, 603 Wellington was sold to W.P. Riley and then again in 1955 to Joseph Harris of Canada Packers. The house is situated on two adjoining lots fronting the Assiniboine River adjacent to the Maryland Bridge. When we bought 603 Wellington Crescent in 1996 from the fourth owner – Dr. & Mrs. McInnis, a well know dentist with a large family, they were very kind and generously lowered the price to help make the purchase more affordable for our congregation.
Our new sanctuary was built on the location of the old carriage house which we had to take down; a stately garage that once was home to the original owner’s horse and buggy. The sanctuary was designed by Prairie Architects and the exterior stone on the sanctuary was a gifted donation from a Unitarian church member in Kingston, Ontario who owned the company that manufactured the stone product. This generous gift allowed us to match the beautiful original stonework of the house. Even more amazing is the fact that the owner of the company died suddenly while we were building and his widow still kindly helped us with the donation. The stained glass windows in our sanctuary came from our Sargent and Banning location but were also housed in two other Unitarian churches before the Sargent Street location. There is a plaque in the Sanctuary on the wall next to the stained glass windows that describes the historical significance of the windows in more detail.
After much hard work and sweat equity by many-many people from our faith community, we celebrated the official opening of our Church and new Sanctuary in October 2001.