The Mystery of the Beautiful Wooden Church

I frequently buy up box lots at auction and it’s not until later that I actually know what I have. It’s always such a thrill digging down into a pile and not knowing what I’ll find. Yeah, there’s usually a lot of junk that’s not worth keeping, but almost always I’ll uncover some interesting treasure too.

Take this photo.

Wooden church interior, ca 1890

Wooden church interior, ca 1890

It shows the interior of a small wooden church. Apart from the caption, St. John the Baptist, there’s no other identifying information. I’m guessing it was taken between 1880 and 1900.

It was tucked into a big lot of photos that I bought at an estate sale in Nova Scotia a few years ago. I don’t know what town it’s from, but it’s a pretty good guess that it’s in Nova Scotia somewhere. I tried some searches on the name of the church, digging especially around places close to the town I bought it. Nothing turned up.

I just love this photo. I think it’s the incredible detail: the wood panelling, the tiny stove with the long pipe, the chandelier, the stained glass window.

Who went to church here? Why did they take this picture of the inside of their church? We’ll never know. But at least we get to admire it all these years later.

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