Archive for the ‘Churches’ Category

North Guilford Congregational Church (1814)

Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 Posted in Churches, Federal Style, Guilford | No Comments »

North Guilford Congregational Church

Guilford farmers began clearing land in the north part of town in 1705. As related in A History of the Plantation of Menunkatuck and of the Original Town of Guilford, Connecticut, Comprising the Present Towns of Guilford and Madison (1897) by Bernard Christian Steiner:

on December 6, 1716, the town voted to grant the petition of the “North Farmers in Guilford,” that they may have “the liberty to hire a minister for 4 months for their ease in attending the worship of God, the Town being at no charge in contributing to the same.”

In 1720 the town

granted 50 acres on Hooker’s Hill “to be disposed for the ministry forever,” and permitted the meetinghouse to be set” on the hill called the ledge, in the highway against Sam’l Bishop’s lot.”

The first meeting house on Mettinghouse Hill was built in 1723 and a separate religious society was granted by the General Assembly in 1725. The current North Guilford Congregational Church building was erected in 1812-1814. Workmen erecting the steeple during the War of 1812 observed British ships on Long Island Sound during the Battle of Stonington. Abraham Coan of Guilford was the architect/builder of the Federal-style church, which stands in a dramatic location on Meetinghouse Hill. The interior was remodeled and the Chancel was added in 1855, possibly to a design by Henry Austin. A rear addition to the church was constructed in 1957.

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First Congregational Church, Branford (1843)

Sunday, November 15th, 2015 Posted in Branford, Churches, Italianate, Romanesque Revival | No Comments »

First Congregational Church, Branford

Settlers from Wethersfield established themselves in Branford in 1644 and built a log meeting house. This was enlarged to twice its original size in 1679. As related in the second volume of J.L. Rockey’s History of New Haven County (1892), from the church’s records:

November 30th, 1699. ‘Whereas it hath been agreed upon by the town to build a new meeting house, and there being different notions respecting the form— some being for a square house and others for a long brick house with lean-to— it is agreed by the town that a lott shall be drawn to decide the matter, and it is agreed that Benj. Harrington shall draw the lott.’ The lot being drawn fell for a square meeting house. The form of the tower and turret was left to the committee. The inhabitants agreed to work out their proportions of expense as near as they can in such work as the committee judge them capable. The committee were to deduct from wages of those who come late or are negligent. They sell the new part of the old house to help pay joiners for work on the new house. They sell the old part of the old house to Richard Wilford for teaching school. This new house stood on the common, about in front of the town hall.

Built in 1700, this meeting house was deemed inadequate by 1738, when the decision was made to erect a new one. It was completed in 1744. As described in A history of the First Church and Society of Branford, Connecticut, 1644-1919 (1919), by J. Rupert Simonds:

The steeple was not added until 1803, and the clock was placed therein in the summer of 1804. There is an interesting story concerning the erection of the steeple. It happened that, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, the newly reorganized Episcopal Church purchased some fine lumber to be used for building a steeple for their new church, but their funds proved insufficient for the carrying out of their plans, and so they were compelled to sell the timbers, which they had prepared, to the Congregational Society, and they were used in the erection of the Congregational steeple. Inasmuch as the feeling between the two churches was not very cordial at that time, this was regarded, by the Episcopalians, as a cause for much chagrin, and, by the Congregationalists, as an occasion of considerable satisfaction. [. . .]

The new meeting house was situated nearly in front of the present edifice, but faced almost in the opposite direction. It was occupied by the church for practically a century, or until the erection of the present building, in its original form, in 1843.

Simonds describes the building of the 1843 meeting house in its original form:

It was decided to have a brick house, with a porch and large fluted pillars in front, a steeple in the center, and with two aisles in the audience room. The work went steadily, tho not rapidly, forward. The old Meeting House was in the way of the builders, so it was torn down and services were held, for a time, in the Academy. In January of 1844 the slips, which had been placed in the new building instead of the old square pews, were appraised and rented. It was also decided to have an organ in the church. The basement was not finished until January 1, 1845, for it had been necessary to sell part of the Indian Neck timber to obtain sufficient funds.

On January 19, 1845, the new Meeting House was finally dedicated.

The First Congregational Church decided to enlarge the building and change the facade in 1868, as again described by Simonds:

After some little discussion, and the revision of the plans several times, it was decided to enlarge the church by removing the original facade and adding to the length of the roof sufficiently to enable the placing of thirty more pews, and replacing the old facade with a new one. This was accordingly done, and the result is the edifice in its present form. The addition at the rear of the building, comprising the chancel, was also made at this time and the walls of the auditorium were frescoed.

The building has been attributed to architect Sidney M. Stone.

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St. Patrick Church, Roxbury (1885)

Sunday, November 8th, 2015 Posted in Churches, Gothic, Roxbury | No Comments »

St. Patrick Church

Private homes hosted Masses in Roxbury until a mission church dedicated to St. Patrick was built in 1885 at 25 Church Street. In the 1880s, Irish Catholics had been settling in Roxbury to work in the local quarries. In 1908 the mission was placed in the care of a new parish, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Washington Depot. In the early 1950s, St. Patrick Church’s bell tower had to be taken down due to storm damage and the entry was altered.

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Hadlyme Congregational Church (1840)

Sunday, November 1st, 2015 Posted in Churches, East Haddam, Greek Revival | No Comments »

Hadlyme Congregational Church

As related in A Statistical Account of the County of Middlesex, in Connecticut (1819) by David Dudley Field:

The [Ecclesiastical] Society of Hadlyme was incorporated in Oct. 1742, and was thus called, because it was made partly from East-Haddam and partly from Lyme. The church was organized, with ten male members, on the 26th of June 1745, and on the 18th of the succeeding September, the Rev. Grindall Rawson, who had been minister several years at South-Hadley, Mass. was installed their pastor.

The current church, built in 1840 and located on Town Street (Route 82) in East Haddam, is the second building to be constructed on the site.

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St. Joseph Catholic Church, New Britain (1897)

Sunday, October 25th, 2015 Posted in Churches, Gothic, New Britain, Romanesque Revival | No Comments »

St. Joseph Catholic Church, New Britain

St. Joseph’s Parish in New Britain was established on April 9, 1896. Father Richard Moore held the parish’s first mass in the basement of St. Peter Church on Franklin Square in New Britain. Ground for St. Joseph Church was broken on November 1, 1896 and the church was dedicated by Bishop Michael A. Tierney on September 19, 1897. The church features elements of the Gothic Revival and Romanesque Revival styles.

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East Berlin United Methodist Church (1896)

Sunday, October 18th, 2015 Posted in Berlin, Churches, Gothic | No Comments »

East Berlin United Methodist Church

The East Berlin United Methodist Church was first organized as the East Berlin Methodist Episcopal Church in 1864. Services were held at various locations until a church building was completed in 1876. This small building was enlarged to to become the current church at 139 Main Street in 1896. That same year a parsonage was also constructed. The building once had an original Tiffany stained glass window. The church was restored after it was damaged by a fire in 1949.

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St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Northford (1940)

Sunday, October 11th, 2015 Posted in Churches, Gothic, North Branford | No Comments »

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Parish in Northford was first organized in 1763 and their first church was consecrated by Bishop Thomas Church Brownell in 1822. A new edifice was built in 1845 and the original building was sold and probably used as a hay barn. The second church burned in 1938. Ground was broken for a new church on October 1, 1939 and the building was dedicated on November 10, 1940. The new building, at the same location as its predecessor (1382 Middletown Avenue) was designed by Alfred W. Boylen of New Haven to resemble the 1845 church, with a simple Gothic interior. The present rectory was built in 1957 and the parish house in 1965.

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