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Hallowed Timbers

Hallowed Timbers

From the grandest, most ornate church to the tiniest, most humble chapel, Cape Breton Island's houses of worship possess a timeless charm. In these pages, we join Susan Hyde and Michael Bird as they travel the winding roads of Cape Breton — along the windswept coast, through sheltered river valleys, and up rugged peaks — on an inspirational tour of over sixty remarkable churches. The authors' outstanding photographs and informed commentary reveal the architectural and historical significance of these beautiful structures and provide an affectionate record of Cape Breton's hallowed timbers.

Both native Cape Bretoners and visitors "from away" will be sure to treasure this wonderful tribute to the Island's unique sacred buildings and the people who made them sanctuaries of solace and inspiration, worship and celebration.


After completing her Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia, Susan Hyde accepted a position on the East Coast. During her eight years in Cape Breton, she fell in love with Maritime architecture and began photographing and researching the Island's picturesque wooden churches. Hallowed Timbers is the result. Susan Hyde and Michael Bird are married and live in Waterloo, Ontario. She is a psychologist at a Southern Ontario health centre. Both maintain a strong interest in matters artistic, musical and historical, and are easily enticed to grab notebook and camera and trek to out-of-the-way churches on short notice.

Michael Bird is the author of many books on folk art, religion and culture, including Canadian Country Furniture, 1675-1950, published by Boston Mills Press. He visited Cape Breton's many houses of worship with co-author Susan Hyde during his summer trips to the Maritimes in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Susan Hyde and Michael Bird are married and live in Waterloo, Ontario. He is a professor in the departments of Religious Studies and Fine Arts at Renison College, University of Waterloo. Both maintain a strong interest in matters artistic, musical and historical, and are easily enticed to grab notebook and camera and trek to out-of-the-way churches on short notice.

128 pages
Pub date: May 1, 1995