As early as 1840, records show the Rt Rev John Strachan conducting confirmation services in the first St George’s church which was a small log church located where the present St George’s cemetery is found. The church was built on land donated by Mt Thomas James. Later on, the land was owned by Mr Bowland and the church was often referred to as Bowland Church.
By 1869, the church was surrounded by the parish cemetery. Gradually, the parish began holding services in the village of Clayton. For many years, the log church was used in the summer and on “good” days, while in the winter, services were conducted in a hall in Clayton. There is no trace left of the log church and records sadly do not tell what became of it.
The cemetery has headstones dating from 1843 and contains plots of many well-known families in the community.
# 270 Bowland Rd – The Bowland House. The Bowlands owned much of the land along this road. William Bowland acquired 170 acres in 1840. This is the original Bowland’s House that was built. Bishop Strachan visited St George’s for confirmation in 1840, 1843, 1852 and 1855. He used to drive out from Carleton Pace and stay overnight at the home of Mrs Bowland who kept “the Minister’s Room” in order for the visiting minister or bishop.
#2472 Tatlock Rd – “School Hill” – Where the road leads to Clayton Lake at Evan’s Point (now Beaton’s), the foundation of a building thought to be school house can be seen at the top of “School House Hill”. This was the first school in the area and it is believed that the children from Lots 12 – 27 Con 1, 2, 3 and part of Conc 4 and 5 Lots 12-27 attended school in a log building opposite the entrance to Taylor Lake from Conc 2 Ramsay. This building was situated at the junction of Lots 19 and 20 Conc 2. At this location there was a apparent discrepancy in the survey and the wet boundaries of the two lots did not coincide. The fees charged by the teacher for this service was usually one shilling six pence a month or the parent supplied provisions of an equal value to the teacher.
One of the first teachers to provide formal instruction int the Union Hal area was John Young. John Young drew Lot 15E Conc1 on 18 Aug 1821 at Perth. Mr Morris Turner relates that John Young was a “Barter Teacher”. Apparently Mr Young erected a dwelling on his lot and after deeding hos lot to Mr John Robertson in 23 April 1836, Mr Young agreed to instruct Mr Robertson’s children if he were allowed to remain in his dwelling. It is possible that John Young taught at the building on “School Hill”
The Journal of the Assembly for Upper Canada 1828 shows John Young as one of the two teachers in recognized schools on Ramsay Township in 1827. A recognized school was required to have an average attendance of 20 scholars for six months of a calendar year.