Nisbet Church and blockhouse to come down by June 21

Nisbet Church in Kinsmen Park, prior to deconstruction. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

The historic Nisbet Church and Blockhouse located in Kinsmen Park will be dismantled before June 21.

According to a press release, the buildings have been “underutilized” for the last 40 years.

“The Nisbet Church and Blockhouse are buildings of historical significance to the city and the province. Unfortunately, because they’ve been moved from their original locations near the river and they have deteriorated over the years, they are now a hazard and difficult to restore,” said Connie Gerwing, president of the Historical Society in a press release.

“The City and the Prince Albert Historical Society together have decided that the best course of action is to take them apart, save as much of the original structures as possible and store them. Our plan is to reconstruct them in some form when a suitable location and funding are available.”

Since the buildings were moved from their original location, they’re not eligible for heritage protection.

Stable parts of the buildings will be protected and preserved in another location. The city and the Historical Society will work to save the historically relevant parts of the building, including the gun ports in the blockhouse.

The work is to be done by Darryl Sande of Pipestone Creek Contracting prior to National Aboriginal Day celebrations on June 21.

The Nisbet Churh/School was constructed in 1872 by Rev. James Nisbet downtown. He used the church for his mission in Prince Albert until 1881. It was moved to its current location in 1932 to be used as a heritage museum, a purpose it served until the 1950s, and again from the early 1970s until 1977.

The Blockhouse was constructed as a stable for P.A.’s first lawyer, William Maclise, in 1881 by Archie Ballantine.

It was used as a stable until 1885, when it was transformed into a blockhouse to protect the city during the North-West Resistance, and moved to its current location in 1933.