Église Sainte-Marie, Church Point, Nova Scotia

Ten years ago this week I was exploring the coast of Nova Scotia at the start of a 3 month road trip.

At Church Point (on the western shore), I came across the Catholic church of Église Sainte-Marie. It is the largest and tallest wooden building in North America.

Built over a period of two years, from 1903 to 1905, it was the fifth church to be built in the parish. In the form of a cross, the church nave measures 58 metres (190 feet) in length, with transepts that are 41 metres (135 feet) across. The church spire rises 56 metres (185 feet) from floor to steeple, with its cross adding another 1.67 meters (5.6 feet). Originally 15 feet taller, the church steeple was struck by lightning in 1914, requiring part of the spire to be rebuilt (measurements taken from the church website).

The church itself is impressive, but what sticks in my mind from my visit are some of the gravestones in the churchyard. Obviously the Arcadians are fans of planning ahead, as many of the stones had the names of not only people who were already buried in the plot, but also those of who would be buried in the plot (just with the date of death to be added when the time comes).

Has anyone ever seen this elsewhere?

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