Historical Context

St. George’s Anglican Church was completed in 1834 (About Us). It was originally a wooden structure located at St. George Square, Guelph’s City Center. St. George’s Anglican Church was second church in history to be built in Guelph. In the 1850’s the wooden church was renovated and upgraded to stone as well as being expanded. In 20 years, this church would again go through changes, eventually moving to its current location at 99 Woolwich Street, where it has remained for over one hundred and forty years (About Us).

            This postcard, along with many of the other ephemeral items in this exhibit, belong to the Sleeman collection here at the University of Guelph Archives. As mentioned by Professor James in one of our seminar discussions, some of these items may be harder to link to Sleeman than others, simply due to the possibility that they were donated in a large volume without much background knowledge as to how they relate to Sleeman. It makes sense that the archives would keep every piece donated, as George Sleeman was a very influential character for the city of Guelph. Sleeman is a very well-known name in Guelph, a possibly all of Canada. He was the second mayor of Guelph, the son of John Sleeman, the founder of Sleeman Breweries, and helped form Canada’s first professional baseball league (George Sleeman).

            This postcard is an image of St. George’s Anglican church of Guelph. Interestingly, this church is where George Sleeman himself, married Sarah Hill in 1863 (Palmer). Interestingly, the present St. George’s Church did not finish renovations until 1873, a whole 10 years after their marriage. Therefore, it is hard to conclude whether the church in this postcard is the exact structure in which Sleeman was married. However, it would make sense that this church is the exact one in which they were married, because it would hold more value and memory.