Mission – St-Cléophas (Hectanooga)

The community of Hectanooga was founded in 1843 upon the arrival of its first settler, Bonaventure (dit Bonan) Deveau and his wife Sophie Deveau. Subsequently, Hectanooga saw the arrival of Cyriac, Anselm and Gatien Thibault at Briar Lake. The area between Hectanooga and Mayflower was settled by Daniel Harrington and Léon dit Zoume Saulnier.

To better serve the inhabitants of this newly formed community, it was decided to create a mission at Hectanooga, to be administered by St-Vincent-de-Paul Parish (Salmon River, Rivière-aux-Saumons).

In 1882, the first mass was held at Hectanooga, at the home of Cantin Deveau (son of Bonaventure and Sophie Deveau). Mass continued to be held in private homes, including that of Bonaventure and Sophie Deveau, until the construction of the new mission church. In 1900, Rémi (à Cyriac) Thibault and Bonaventure Deveau donated land for the construction of a new church. After a land exchange with Archange Deveau (another son of Bonaventure and Sophie Deveau), a site was found for the new church and construction began in 1908 under the direction of Father Ruest, pastor of St-Vincent-de-Paul (Salmon River, Rivière-aux-Saumons).

St Cléophas Mission Church at Hectanooga

In 1929, the first Midnight Mass was held at St-Cléophas (Hectanooga), celebrated by Father J. Ambroise Maillet. It was such a momentous occasion that a local newspaper (the Yarmouth Light) reported “…the church was filled  to its utmost capacity..” and went on to report that the mass was attended by a large number of people who, up to that point,  had never attended a Midnight Mass.

The church was de-commissioned in 2007 and is no longer on the site: the last mass was celebrated July 15, 2007. The cemetery, located next to the church, is still active.