Plaqued Houses and Buildings
2521 Dundas Street West - Palermo United Church
Established in 1812, the building dates to 1867
Property Details:
Palermo United Church stands on part of what was Lot 30, 1st Concession North of Dundas Street, Trafalgar Township. Dundas Street was surveyed in 1793 and became the base line for the original land survey conducted by Samuel Wilmot in 1806 following the Mississauga Purchase of 1805. Wilmot laid out four concessions to the south and two to the north.

In 1808 the 200-acre Lot 30 was granted to John Shaw. A year later it was granted by John Shaw, "per Att'y of Joseph Shaw" to Michael Doyle. In 1828 James Doyle sold 100 acres of it to Daniel Bray. In 1840 the acre the church now stands on was sold by David Hagar to George Elliott. John Elliott sold it to William Smith in 1848. In 1868, Sherriff George C McKindsey conveyed it by Sherriff's Deed to Addison Hagar "in interest of William Smith". It changed hands a few more times before, in 1875, William Laidlaw "and wife" conveyed it to Lawrence Hagar, Edward Sheridan, William C. Inglehart, Peter J. Inglehart and Anson Buck, Trustees of the M[ethodist] Church at Palermo for $1000. It's interesting that the church didn't own the land until eight years after the building was erected.

The church building replaced two that stood on either end of the cemetery, which dates to 1818, on the south side of Dundas. The first was Methodist Episcopal, descended from the American version and the other was Wesleyan Methodist. When Wesleyan Methodism became the official version in Canada, they were denied the use of the original church. Eventually the two joined and, in 1867, the current church was erected.

The Sunday School Hall was added in 1900 and electricity was installed in 1922. The original steeple has been removed. When the church opened, Palermo was a bustling village at the important intersection of Dundas Street and Bronte Road (previously Second Line) which were narrow, two-lane roads. Dundas in particular was a far cry from the busy thoroughfare that passes so close to the front doors of the old church.

For further information on the history of Methodism in general and Nelson and Palermo churches in particular, refer to Rev John Shearman's essay of 1982 "Nelson and Palermo United Churches - the first 30 years 1808 to 1838". It's available online. "Seven Sundays" by Judith Winkler has information on 7 pioneer churches along Dundas in Oakville and Burlington. It's available online or for perusal at our office.
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Palermo ChurchPalermo Church
Palermo Church PlaquePalermo Church Plaque
Palermo United Church circa 1989Palermo United Church circa 1989
Interior of Palermo United Church, 1845Interior of Palermo United Church, 1845