Mid-afternoon I went for a drive and ended up at a local historical church. Though we call it Mohawk Chapel, it is really Her Majesty's Chapel of the Mohawks.
The church was the first protestant church in Upper Canada (now Ontario) and was built by the Crown in 1785. At that time what is now Canada was under British rule. The Crown gave the church to the Mohawk Indians, who were led by Joseph Brant, for their support as Allies during the American Revolution. When the British lost, Brant lead his people to the Grand River Valley and the Crown awarded them 760,000 acres along the Grand River.
Many United Empire Loyalists also settled in this area and some are buried in the cemetery beside the church, which is the oldest remaining church in Ontario and the only Royal Chapel in North America. Native Canadians are also buried here.
The above photo was taken from the front steps. In recent years a lot of renovations have taken place.
The front doors and the gardens. Everything is so pretty here and the Chapel is surrounded by many different species of trees.
This is the original Chapel bell. A few years ago it was stolen from this spot in the fall. The next spring it was found along the banks of the Grand River. Why would anyone want to destroy a piece of history for no logical reason? It was then restored and hung where it stands today.
The gardens are beautiful. Many of the flowers have gone to seed, but there were still many beautiful blooms on both side of the large, wooden doors.
I have always liked this headstone. On the left it says, A.J. Davies. 65 years 1910. On the right it says Baby Edna 9 months 1886.
This is another old stone. There are many of them in this cemetery.
In his later years, Joseph Brant lived in Burlington, Ontario and when he passed, he was buried there. The guide at the Chapel today explained to visitors that when his son died, his body was exhumed and they were both laid to rest here at the Chapel.
Queen Elizabeth has visited the Chapel several times. It was officially given Royal designation by King Edward VII in 1904. Over the years, it has been renovated several times, the last being in 1983. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visited the following year. The Chapel has never been allowed to fall into disrepair again.
The above photo shows Joseph Brant and his son John's tomb. They lay here together for eternity.
At one time the Chapel had eight stained glass windows. These were replaced between 1959 and 1962 with stained glass windows that each tell a story. The Chapel was open today but unfortunately photography is not allowed inside.
I hope you enjoyed strolling through the grounds of Her Majesty's Chapel of the Mohawks with me. It was shady and cool in the church yard and I met a couple from New York State who were here looking for the gentleman's roots. They were very friendly and interested in the many Native historical sites along the banks of the Grand River.