Pointe St. Charles, Montreal
1906 postcard from the collection of Patty Brown

From: "A History of the Scotch Presbyterian Church, St. Gabriel Street, Montreal"
By Rev. Robert Campbell, Montreal 1887

The history of St. Matthew's congregation dates back to the autumn of 1857, when the Rev.W. Snodgrass, minister of St. Paul's Church, began fortnightly services in the ticket office of the Grand Trunk Railway at Point St. Charles.  These services were discontinued for a time, owing to lack of pulpit supply.  A Sabbath School, however, was established in the same building, which was the nucleus of the present large and flourishing school.  

In the year 1858, through the exertions of members of St. Paul's Church, a parcel of ground was secured, for a church building.  Its erection was, however, delayed for various reasons until the autumn of 1859, when active operations were resumed.  In January, 1860, the building was so far advanced as to permit of its being opened for Sabbath School work.  The colonial committee of the Church of Scotland was asked to secure and send out a missionary to this field. In February, of the same year, the Rev. James Stewart sailed from Liverpool, but was lost in the ill-fated S. S.Hungarian On the 8th April, 1860, the church was formally opened for public worship by the Rev. W. Snodgrass.  In July following, the Rev. James Black was appointed missionary to the field, and laboured with mnch success until he accepted a call to Chatham, Que., Sept. 4th, 1861. 

On  Oct.23rd,1861, the residents who had associated themselves with the mission, were formally organized into a congregation of the Presbyterian Church of Canada in connection with the Church of Scotland.  On 24th December, 1861, the Rev. William Darroch, was ordained and inducted as the first pastor of St. Matthew's Church. Mr. Darroch laboured with great diligence and marked success until the Master called him into rest, June 16th, 1865. The Rev. Joshua Fraser was next called and inducted  Sept 22nd,1865.  Mr. Fraser continued until early in 1872, when, he was called to Whitby, Ontario. The Rev. Chas. A. Doudiet succeeded to the pastorate, on September 27th, 1872. In 1873, the chnrch was enlarged to its present capacity at a cost of nearly $5,000.  In April, 1876, Mr. Doudiet demitted his charge and was succeeded by the Rev. Simon Somerville Stobbs, March 18th,1877.  In October of the following year, Mr. Stobbs resigned, and was succeeded by the Rev. W.R. Cruikshank, the present incumbent, April 15, 1879.

The congregation has grown steadily up to the present time, and is now contemplating the erection of enlarged premises.  There are abont 225 families in connection with. the church, the membership roll, embracing about 430. The Sabbath School has, perhaps, more than kept pace with the growth of the congregation. It has now 45 officers and teachers, and 400 children including the Bible class.

The Session at the present time [1887] embraces the Moderator and the elders, whose names and occupations are as follows:--

Capt.Wm. Rose, gentleman;
Daniel Downie, Foreman, G. T. R. 
James Fenwick, Foreman, C.P.R.
W.A. Kneelend, Teacher
John Cliff, Clerk 
Joseph Anderson, Merchant 
Benjamin Kidd, Machinist
Robert Donaldson, Machinist
Arthur Johnstone, Machinist
William Lee, Machinist

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