Trinity United Church New California: A Country Sanctuary, 2nd Edition

Trinity United Church New California:
A Country Sanctuary 

Rev. Olav Kitchen

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to our second edition of A Country Sanctuary.

In the History Corner of this issue, we’re going to take a journey into Trinity’s past in order to solve a mystery.

We’ll also provide a delicious recipe for you in our Country Kitchen section, a short story in our Food for Thought section, a Morning Prayer that we can all relate to and that may help start our day with a smile, and finally, how to get in touch with us in our Contact section.

We hope you enjoy this edition of A Country Sanctuary!

Until Next Time

    God Bless!



History Corner



Historical specifics, interrelated details, and the accompanying map were researched and submitted by Beverly Haggins from the following source:

The Windsor Evening Record June 27, 1903
Commemorative Biographical Record for Essex County

Have you ever wondered how a place acquired its name — especially when that name seems totally disconnected to its location?

For instance, street names can be notoriously misleading.  Let’s take a look at one such case.

You’re on your way to visit friends who have recently moved to a new home.  Their address is now Lakeview Drive.

As you struggle to navigate a congested expressway, your imagination begins to create soothing images of your destination.  Sailboats gliding across a tranquil lake, water birds leisurely floating overhead, the protective canopy of ancient trees, and soft breezes gently fanning you as you sip a cold drink.

Upon arrival, however, you’re abruptly confronted with a reality that instantly shatters all those calming imaginings!

Your friends’ home is in the heart of a building frenzy.  There’s numerous dust devils swirling round the site, it’s 110 degrees EVERYWHERE, and the only shade comes from an intimidating, multi-story apartment building looming over the neighborhood.

There are definitely no sailboats, gentle breezes, water birds, shade trees – ancient or otherwise, solitude, or for that matter, a lake!!  So much for bringing your snorkel!

Now, if you’ve had the opportunity to travel through the New California area, you may have noticed we have no palm trees, ocean vistas, whale watching, nor, alas, movie stars!

A bit disappointing and confusing?  Completely understandable!

In fact, we’ve had a number of inquiries from others who are equally as baffled.  Why would Trinity United Church inexplicably attach New California to its official title?

For the answer to this mystery, we’ll first journey back to the year 1835 and meet Leonard Wigle, son of Wendle J. Wigle. Leonard is 21 and the recent recipient of 200 acres of land from his parents (Lot G and H on the northeast corner of what is now the intersection of Road 2 West and McCain Sideroad).

The area had already been mapped by Colonel Thomas Talbot, but the land was still wild and fully forested. Roads were not yet cut and there was no cleared farmland.

Leonard’s first undertaking was to cut a road thru to the lakeshore after which he commenced clearing his land.

Over the years the land proved to be rich, the crops were good and plentiful, and Leonard became a wealthy and well-respected farmer in the community.

Now, fast forward to 1848 – 1855.  These years were part of an era that was witness to legendary gold rushes and the mass exodus of thousands to the west coast. They all had the same dreams – adventure and making their fortunes in the gold fields.

Even some of the young men from our area joined the throngs of those headed to the state of California.  In fact, one of these daring young men was Leonard’s own nephew, Simon Wigle.

When Simon returned from California, he was bursting with amazing tales of the gold and great wealth to be found on the American west coast!

After quietly listening to a number of Simon’s stories, Leonard is reported to have responded by saying “Our gold is corn in this country, and our object is to grow more corn, to feed more hogs, to buy more land, to grow more corn. 

Later, some wags of the community painted a sign “NEW CALIFORNIA” and erected it on Leonard’s front yard. Leonard never removed the sign and the name stuck.

It was on Leonard’s land that the first Methodist Episcopal Church was built on McCain between the 2nd and 3rd concessions. This church became the first school, which was later known as S.S. No 10.

When the congregation joined with the Wesleyan Methodist congregation, they built a new log church on Leonard’s land on the corner of Road 2 and McCain. This log structure was later replaced by the present brick church known as

Trinity United Church
New California



Country Kitchen


The following recipe was submitted to our church cookbook by Shirley Balkwill (Mrs. Clifford Balkwill).

Shirley has been a member of the Trinity family since her marriage to Cliff Balkwill on October 22, 1955.

Besides being — a devoted wife, an exceptional mother to their three children (Pat, Mark {wife Tracy} and Marilyn {husband – Chuck Hedge}), a vital partner on the family farm, and a loving grandmother & great-grandmother — Shirley has faithfully fulfilled many roles in the church.

Her gentle, smiling presence has always added a sense of warmth, welcome, and acceptance to both members and visitors who have entered Trinity over the years!

Baked Spaghetti


3 tbsp. butter
¼    cup chopped onion
½    chopped clove garlic
2        cups canned tomatoes
½    tsp. salt
1/8   tsp. pepper
2 tsp. sugar
¼    tsp. oregano or basil
1 to 2 tbsp. parsley
1 ½    cups grated cheese
1  8 oz. pkg. spaghetti cooked  and well drained


  • Melt 2 tbsp. butter in saucepan.
  • Add onion and garlic and mix well.
  • Cook over low heat 10 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, sugar and oregano or basil, mix well.
  • Simmer over very low heat for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Stir in parsley and 1 cup grated cheese.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Combine tomato mixture with cooked spaghetti.
  • Spoon spaghetti mixture into buttered baking dish.
  • Spread remaining cheese and butter over spaghetti mixture and sprinkle with paprika.
  • Bake in moderately hot oven 375 for 25 minutes.
  • Serves 5 to 8




Food for Thought

The following story was submitted by
Rev. Olav Kitchen
to the New Cal Post June 2014

“I would like to share the Story of
Two Wolves from the Naticoke Tribe
for you to ponder.”

One evening, an elderly Cherokee brave told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, “My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all.  

One is evil.  

It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is good.

It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather.

“Which wolf wins? …”  

The elderly man looked at his grandson and simply replied,

“The one that you feed.”



Daily Prayer

Dear Lord……

So far today,

I’ve done alright.

I haven’t gossiped.

I haven’t lost my temper

I haven’t lied or cheated.

I haven’t been greedy, grumpy,

nasty, selfish or overindulgent.

I’m very thankful for that.

But in a few minutes Lord,

I’m going to get out of bed

and from then on, I’m probably

going to need a lot more help!


Taken from The New Cal Post



Contact Info:
Ruthven Pastoral Charge
Box 370
Ruthven Ontario Canada N0P 2G0
519 – 326 – 3138

Rev. Olav Kitchen
519 566 7626



    Thank you for the great story

    • Jody Smith

      Hi David

      Margaret has sent a response to your comment:

      “Thank you. We’re glad you enjoyed the article!”

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