From Swamp and Shanty by Wendell M. Stanley

all information extracted from the revised 1988 book

 St. Mary’s Anglican Church

The first Russell Anglican Church was located on the south side of the Anglican Cemetery which was later sold to the Baptists in 1894.  In 1885, the construction of the present St. Mary’s Anglican Church began when Mr. William Helmer purchased the property at the corner of Castor and Parallel Streets, in the amount of $120.00.

Keith Boyd Museum formally St. Mary’s Anglican Church


First Registry Entry Date:  March 16, 1856
First Registry Entry By: Reverend F.R. Tane
First Registry Entry Event: Baptism ~ John Stewart
First Registry Entry Details: son of John and Mary Ann McDonald

First Wedding Entry Date: Abraham Pillar and Mary Wade



Wedding at St. Mary’s – Unknown Bride & Groom

The new Anglican Church was being built with solid bricks from the Russell brickyards, all by members donating labour and materials.  In 1886, work had to be stopped due to lack of funds but on February 25, 1887, the church was officially opened and dedicated.  The church was built by a very small congregation without any debt at a cost of $3,500.00.

In 1896, the Diocese of Ottawa was formed and Bishop Hamilton was first Bishop.  His brother, whom resided in Montreal, donated the stained glass windows that are now in St. Mary’s church.  In 1958, the construction of the parish hall began by voluntary labourers and was dedicated on April 18, 1961 by the late E.S. Reed, Bishop of Ottawa.

Current Church Bell

The church bell, made of cast brass, was purchased in 1924 from the Roman Catholic Church, Embrun ON.  It is currently located within the inside of St. Mary’s Church.

The original cross on top of the church was built by Elmer Lackey, whom happened to be the father of the Bishop (yr. 1982).  Due to a redesign of the top bell tower, the cross was taken down.   Since, an aluminum cross,  donated by a church in Kanata, ON was moved to the St. Mary’s cemetery in the summer of 2019. 




Special mentions:

  1. Mrs. Alvira McCaffrey (Young) served more than forty years as an organist.
  2. Mr. Warick C. Legge was choir director for eighteen years.
  3. St. Mary’s choir won first place at the Ottawa Music Festival in 1957.
  4. Margaret Loucks was a missionary for six years at the Indian Residential School at Sault Ste. Marie in the late 1930’s.
  5. Kenneth Miller, former warden was awarded the Bronze Carnegie Hero Medal in 1972 for rescuing a 7 year old boy from a burning apartment building.