Historical landmark lost to fire
On Victoria Day weekend,2017, the first Protestant church in Alberta was set on fire and burned to the ground. It was built in 1875 near Bragg Creek, 9 years before Bragg Creek developed.
McDougall Memorial United Church
The McDougall Memorial Unite Church was built of local materials for the Morleyville Methodist Mission by George and John McDougall in 1875. Originally constructed without its sturdy bell tower, it was the last of a long series of other mission church established by George McDougall across western Canada. Shortly after completing the church, George McDougall died tragically in 1876 during a buffalo hunt with his son John. McDougall’s widow, Elizabeth, homesteaded nearby and maintained a close relationship with the Stoney Indians over the next 30 years. John McDougall continued the work of his father among the Stoney and Blackfeet, established Central Methodist Church in Calgary and was eventually appointed Special Indian Commissioner for western Canada. The church remained in use until 1921when it was abandoned in favour of a new building in the village of Morleyville.
The work of the Calgary United Church community in preserving this, the oldest example of “carpenter gothic” architecture on its original site in Alberta, led to its designation as a provincial historical resource on December 20, 1979, upon the recommendation of the Hon. Mary LeMessurier, Minister of Culture. The restored McDougall Memorial United Church was dedicated at the 105th Anniversary service here, on September 7, 1980