In 1849 a large group of settlers fled their homeland of South Uist and Benbecula, Scotland. They had been evicted from the land by their landlords. The land produced failed potatoe crops which added to their dire situation. A group of families boarded a ship named The Tusker and made a two week journey to Canada. On August 30th, 1849 they arrived in Quebec.
Approximately 300 of them made their way to Middlesex County by stagecoach and wagon. In the Village of Nairn, Mr. McIntosh, gave them food and supplies on credits. Log shelters were quickly built before winter’s arrival. The settlers established a settlement which they named Bornish, after the town many of them lived in back in Scotland.
They were provided 100 acres of land which would have to be paid for in twenty years. In 1853, the settlers constructed a log church and school at the corner of Highway 81 and Bornish Drive. They named their church St. Columba.
Over time the families moved away, some into the United States. The community became active once again after World War II when Duch and Belgian families immigrated to Canada. Several of them would become farmers once they had enough savings to purchase a farm.
The current church was built in 1902. It’s believed to have last been active in 2005. What makes this a true gem is the architecture and the fact there is no vandalism whatsoever.
This location is now demolished 🙁