Canafornian

Canafornian

Posted on 12/31/2014


Photo taken on December 30, 2014


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church
postcard
winnipeg
manitoba
greek church
tin can cathedral
cleven


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WP1869 WPG - GREEK CHURCH

WP1869 WPG - GREEK CHURCH
Unposted, this card likely dates back to 1905 or 1906. It has the "classic" Velox back and is identified as a Cleven Photo.

This image, titled "Greek Church" is of what is likely the most peculiar building in Winnipeg's history. commonly-known as the "Tin Can Cathedral", it was a small chapel that served as the central place of worship for the Seraphimite Church - an independent, founded-in-Winnipeg church with Russian Orthodox roots. The church, founded in 1903 by the self-styled Bishop Seraphim, primarily catered to the spiritual needs of Ukrainian immigrants.

The congregation originally met in a small building on McGregor street, but in 1904 Bishop Seraphim started building a chapel at the corner of King Street and Stella Avenue. Drawing largely on materials scavenged from a nearby junk yard, his 'Tin Can Cathedral' began to take shape, gaining renown for its unusual appearance.

On this postcard, sent to Mrs R. S. Munn in New York, Ida Pearl Hamilton explains; "This church - a greek place of worship in this city is built of old lumber, scrap iron, tin cans, stove pipes and domestic articles. Notice disregard of perpendicular and horizontal lines. Fastened together with ties of every size. The bell is a locomotive bell, the interior panels are elaborated with old picture frames. Pieces of broken machinery, garden tools, etc. are scattered over the building as ornaments. From the dome stands out a cross made of two curtain poles. This greek church is a curious testimony to the devotion and resourcefulness of the priest who built it and still occupies it."

Of interest is the symbol above "Cleven Photo" - a capital "E" inside a vertical diamond shape. This is identical to the early logo used by the T. Eaton Company - suggesting that Cleven produced this card in some association with Eaton's - possibly to be sold exclusively through their store.

More information on the Tin Can Cathedral is available on these sites:
uofmpress.ca/blog/entry/favourite-foote-photos-tin-can-cathedral
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tin_Can_Cathedral

Comments
wintorbos
wintorbos
I have a bunch of Ida-to-Mrs-Munn cards... Ida's descriptions are always very informative. Interesting about Eaton's!
3 years ago.
Canafornian
Canafornian
nice. She must have been a prolific postcard user!
3 years ago.