The Glengarry News - Glengarry Special - - Alexandria -

In 1815, Fa­ther Alexan­der Mac­donell of St. Raphael’s built a stone grist­mill be­side a small pond fed by Loch Garry. The mill and the sur­round­ing area was ap­pro­pri­ately named the Priest’s Mill. When the town in­cor­po­rated in 1883, its name was changed to Alexandria to hon­our its founder, Fa­ther Alexan­der Mac­donell. The Mill Square was the heart of the vil­lage.

Af­ter the town’s in­cor­po­ra­tion, Alexandria filled with French crafts­men who were ea­ger to ply their re­spec­tive trades. The tremen­dously suc­cess­ful part­ner­ship, Munro and Mac­In­tosh, built 6,000 car­riages and 5,000 sleighs in 1908. The “Glen­garry Buggy” ac­quired fame through­out Canada, United States, Mexico, Europe and South Africa. The vil­lage boomed! How­ever, with the ad­vent of the au­to­mo­bile and the De­pres­sion, the car­riage fac­tory was forced to close in 1929. Un­for­tu­nately, the build­ings were de­mol­ished in 1938, and no vis­i­ble land­mark re­mains. One land­mark which has en­dured in Alexandria is the im­pres­sive St. Fin­nan’s Cathe­dral on the cor­ner of St. Paul and Bishop Streets. Its first Mass was on Christ­mas Day 1832, and the steeple and bells were erected in 1902.

There was a pic­nic in June 1907 to raise funds for a French church, Église Sacré Coeur. The first corner­stone was laid on April 14, 1910, and the struc­ture still stands to­day on the south­east cor­ner of Main and Lochiel Sts. Church on the Hill was built in 1912 and of­fi­cially be­came a United church in 1925. The church is lo­cated on the cor­ner of Kin­car­dine St. E. and Do­min­ion Streets.

Priest’s Mill

St. Fin­nan’s Cathe­dral

Church on the Hill

Église Sacré Coeur

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