Book release: Historic St. Mary’s: A Brief Account of Three Indian River Churches 1814–2020

By Bertha Campbell

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Historic St. Mary’s: A Brief Account of Three Indian River Churches 1814–2020  traces some of the rich history of Indian River, PEI, from its early settlers to its well-known church. The book explores how Indian River Church evolved from a primitive thirty by forty-foot building on the shores of Malpeque Bay to a world renowned architectural destination that is home to the Indian River Festival.

Throughout the book, readers are introduced to many individuals who were instrumental in creating and preserving St. Mary’s Church—from a priest known for racing horses to those involved in the important “Save St. Mary’s” campaign. Ultimately, Historic St. Mary’s chronicles how the parish community withstood a terrible fire, changing times, and even the church’s decommissioning. Yet, people continue to congregate at this famous William Critchlow Harris landmark.

Author Bertha Campbell, who wrote the book as a pandemic project, will hold a book launch June 12 from 1–3 pm at Historic St. Mary’s, Indian River. The event is free and open to all. Due to public health protocols, it is strongly recommended to register in advance at or by phone at 836-4933.

The book will be available for purchase after June 12 at Murphy’s Pharmacy in Kensington. A number of copies will be donated to the Friends of St. Mary’s and the Indian River Festival and these will be available at the Box Office or by contacting Theresa at 836-4184 or

book release