As submitted by Mrs. Jessie Waite to the Emerald History Book in 1980.
Reprinted with permission by Mrs. Linda Waite.
Ranchers and settlers started coming to the Round Plain in 1880. The first Sunday School and services were held in the homes by Reverend G. Cook. As more settlers came in, the need for a church became more pressing. In 1888, by willing pioneers, a church was erected of field stones. The roof and floor were boards. It was built on the N.E. 1/4 - S.E. corner 10-29-15-W2. The site was donated by Mr. George Fee. Congregations represented were Anglican, Methodist and Presbyterian.
The work was started early in July and was far enough advanced, that a dedication service was held by Mr. Patton in the fall before he left to attend college. Work on the church continued all winter and in the spring, regular services were commenced. These services were continued for many years.
Christmas concerts and picnics were always held in conjunction with the church and Sunday school. At one concert a gramophone made an appearance for the first time. Among the first Sunday School superintendents were Mr. Walter Fee and Mr. James McInnis.
A three-roomed mance was built near the church. When it was no longer needed, it was moved away.
The time came when the church was not used and it fell into a sad state of disrepair and neglect. It has even been rumoured that sheep finding the door ajar would seek shelter from the heat in its cool interior.
Then like the bones that came back to life, Ezekial 37.7, an evangelist, who was also a carpenter, Mr. H. Traub, came to the district about 1931. He restored the church, built pews and pulpit and a log barn for horses. Then services were resumed for many years.
When the Methodist (Frame) Church was moved away in 1948, the lumber barn from there was moved to the Stone Church (the old log one had disintegrated). It was accidentally destroyed when fire raced through the cemetery in the 1950's. A smaller one was built to replace it, but when there were no more horses used for transportation to the church, the little barn was sold and moved away.
In 1938, July 3, the Stone Church celebrated it's 50th anniversary. Mr. James Meakes was Master of Ceremonies and his opening remark was, "I was glad when they said unto me, 'Let us go unto the house of the Lord' ". There was much reminiscing and greetings from former residents, there were special musical selections, vocal and instrumental. The sermon was given by Mr. A. Stuart, assisted by Mr. Art Fee, a son of one of the first settlers in the area.
People leaving the district and other reasons in the following years caused a decline in the use of the church.
In recent years a club of the local women was formed and their project is to look after the church and cemetery. The cracks in the church walls have been repaired, a new floor and carpet put in, the interior and furnishings painted, and the roof reshingled.
On July 2, 1978, a 90th anniversary service was held at the church. Many people who used to live here came back to worship. On the following Sunday, an Inter-Faith service was held in the open air beside the church as there were too many attending to get inside. Rev. Art Fee was guest speaker for both Sundays. A picnic lunch followed the services.
The little church is not used much now but there is a visitor's book for those who do wish to come, look and meditate.
The church stands as a beloved landmark, testifying to the faith of our pioneer forefathers in the God who is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Some of the pastors who served at the Stone Church were: Rev. John Cook, Mr. Patton, Rev. Nichol, Rev. Lamont, Rev. McAllister, Rev. Anderson, Rev. Whitmore, Rev. V. H. Rust, Rev. John Scott, Rev. C. A. Wright, Rev. W. S. Reed, Rev. Albertson, Rev. R. J. Edminston, Rev. W. W. Shoup, Rev. Irwin, Rev. John Archibald, Harvey Traub, Mr. Welch Sr., Roy Welch, Frank Kosick, W. Steinburg, Irving Ellis and A. J. Herd.
Lay reader in 1906 - Mr. Fred Thibault, Mr. Edwin Bompas and Mr. James Rose.
On July 2, 1971, a cairn was unveiled beside the Stone Church. It reads,
This Cairn erected in memory of the Round Plain Pioneers, who first
arrived here in 1880. The Stone Church was built of field stone in 1888 by
the Anglican, Methodist and Presbyterian congregations. The cornerstone was
laid on July 1, 1888, and the opening service was held on September 20th that
year. The Round Plain School was built in 1885, and the first teacher was
Ed. Fee. The site of the school is a mile west of this marker.
Erected in 1967, by the Round Plain Homemaker's Club and the Wishart and District Centennial Committee in co-operation with the Saskatchewan Department of Natural History.
George Fee homesteaded N. E. 1/4 10-29-15-W2 in April 1884. His father, William Fee, passed away in the fall of 1884, and was buried in what is now the Stone Church Cemetery before the church was built. Later George Fee donated the land for the Stone Church and Cemetery. Mr. and Mrs. Fee left the district in 1895. He passed away in 1920 and she in 1934. Both are buried in Vancouver.