Primitive Methodists

  • It is unclear who provided the land for Bolton’s first church, a small, roughcast chapel, built around 1842 for adherents to Primitive Methodism, but it was probably George Bolton.1
  • George owned the land where the frame building was built at the corner of Chapel Street and King Street East.2
  • Primitive Methodism known as ‘Camp Meeting’ or ‘Ranter’ Methodism was a less formal, less structured way to teach the Gospel and it held great appeal to early settlers 
  • By 1873, the congregation had outgrown their chapel.  They built a larger, red brick, gothic styled church on the adjacent corner using bricks from the nearby Norton brickyard.3
  • Twelve years later, in 1885, Primitive and Wesleyan Methodists across Canada joined together.  In Bolton, the two separate congregations followed suit, selecting the larger Bolton Wesley Church as their place of worship
  • As a result, the Primitive Methodist brick church became redundant 
    T.C. Prosser 1854 map shows the location of the chapel on the south-east corner of King Street at Chapel.

    And the buildings?

    • The original frame chapel was sold to the Orange Lodge around 1874 and was used by their membership for close to 100 years.  In 1980, the building was sold, set on a new foundation and became John’s Barber Shop.  It is Bolton’s oldest building still standing
    • The red brick church was sold to the Village of Bolton as their Town Hall. 

      Chapel, circa 1930s, then in use as Bolton’s Orange Lodge

    Primitive Methodist brick church built in 1873.
  1. George Bolton is listed on the 1851 Census as an adherent to Primitive Methodism
  2. There is no record of a land transfer to the Primitive Methodist congregation during the 1840s
  3. The availability of the 1854 T.C. Prosser map likely means that the Chapel was not moved to accommodate building the new brick church