In 1912 Basil Henry came to Dorset as the Presbyterian Minister. He had been a cabinet maker at one time, and in 1914 he and Erastas (Tass) Lockman joined talents to make new pews.
The backs were made of black ash v-joint. The pew ends along the ailsle were all made from a single yellow birch tree which Angus MacKay cut down along the Paint Lake Road near the cemetery. It was then skidded to the Tramway and transported by water to his mill. It was the largest tree that was ever cut in the mill.
Ninety Years later…..
The United Church ladies took a long look at the old pews, and decided to take the winter and refinish each pew. It was a gigantic job, but well worth the effort. The women met almost every afternoon, just who ever could find a few free hours, and painstakingly refinished each pew, then stacked them up on the platform to await the making of the new ends so that the pews could be free standing.
As they worked, often Norman MacKay would stop in to see how the work was progressing. He told us about his recollection of the huge birch tree that his father cut down, along the Paint Lake Road, that was used to make these pew ends.
Cushion seats were crafted as well to fit the pews. Most thought these cushions made the sitting time more comfortable and the attention span longer while attending service.
This story was taken from the “KNOX NOTEBOOK” and can be found in the Dorset Heritage Museum, with many engaging stories.