The Stony Creek section of Branford has a rich history. In the nineteenth century its shoreline and the Thimble Islands attracted wealthy industrialists and its quarries provided the pink granite used for the foundations of the Statute of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge. The quarries brought new immigrant workers, including Italians who first worshiped at a hall on Leete’s Island Road built by quarry owner John Beattie. A chapel was later built on School Street and eventually, in 1927, a church was erected at 84 Thimble Island Road and dedicated in October, 1928. What had previously begun as St. Therese mission became a parish in 1947. A new St. Therese Church on Leete’s Island Road was dedicated in 1968. The old church building was sold to the town in 1974 and was then used as a community and recreation center. A fire station was added to the rear of the building in 1976. More recently the building was renovated and reopened in 2012 as the Stony Creek Museum, which chronicles the area’s history.
The Second Congregational Church of Norwalk, later called the South Norwalk Congregational Church, was formed in 1836 by members of the First Congregational Church who wanted to build a new church in the village of Old Well, which later became the City of South Norwalk. Its first church building was completed that same year and was enlarged in 1856. Ground was broken for a new and larger church on May 31, 1888. The structure (the current address is 4 Dr Martin Luther King, Jr Drive) was completed and the first services were held on the last Sunday in December 1889. The formal dedication took place early in January 1890. By the early 1970s the church had a dwindling membership. It sold its building and merged with United Congregational Church in West Norwalk. The former South Norwalk Congregational Church is now Little Zion Church of Christ of the Apostolic Faith. The steeple was hit by lightning in September 2014 which started a fire that caused some damage to the roof.
The town of Ledyard was set off from Groton and incorporated in 1836. Previous to this the territory which it covers was for many years known as the Second or North Parish in Groton. The Ecclesiastical Society in this North Parish was organized in 1725, with six or seven members, and at once took measures to find, by actual measurement, the exact centre of the parish as the proper place for a meeting-house. That centre was found to be “in the north-east corner of Stephen Morgan’s goat pasture.” Upon the spot thus designated the erection of a meeting-house was begun in 1727. The present church edifice stands partly on the same ground, but a little further back from the highway. The Congregational Church was organized in 1729. The early history of the Church for about 80 years, is veiled in obscurity. During the last 39 of these 80 years the Church had no settled pastor, and at sometime in this period became extinct; and its records, if it ever had any, have been lost.
The situation was rectified beginning in 1808, when the church began raising funds to repair its meeting-house. In 1811 the Ecclesiastical Society again had a settled minister, Rev. Timothy Tuttle, who served as pastor for fifty-three years. It was during his pastorate that the old meeting-house was taken down and the current church building was constructed in 1843.
The church was organized on May 5th, 1859, at the residence of John L. Burbank, on South Main street. Mr. and Mrs. Burbank were deeply interested in their church, and their home was bequeathed by them for a Baptist parsonage, nearly forty years after the church was organized within its walls. [. . .] The Rev. L. D. Gowen was chosen pastor at this meeting and the first services were held in Smith’s Hall, which is now Tilly’s carriage factory, on May 22, 1859. [. . .] A temporary place of worship called the Baptist Tabernacle was completed shortly before Mr. Fagan’s advent as pastor of the church [in 1861]. That building is now occupied by William Podmore, on North Main street, on the site of the present church edifice [built in 1885], on West avenue. [. . .]
The 1885 church building burned on February 2, 1936. Instead of rebuilding on the same West Avenue site, which had become a business area, parishioners decided to rebuild at 105 East Avenue and the church’s name was changed from the South Norwalk Baptist Church to the Community Baptist Church. The cornerstone was laid April 11, 1937 and the first service was offered October 17, 1937.
The first meetinghouse in Madison was erected in 1705, on the southeast section of the town green. It had neither a bell nor a steeple and galleries were only added in 1715. A new meetinghouse was dedicated in May 1743, to which a steeple was added in 1799. The present First Congregational Church was built in the Federal style on the north part of the green in 1837-1838. As described in A Modern History of New Haven and Eastern New Haven County, Volume 1 (1918), by Everett G. Hill:
When the people built for the third time in 1838, they had the common struggle to break away from the green. There was a strong party that favored building on Deacon Hart’s lot north of the green, but so resolute was the minority that forty-seven members actually withdrew from the church in 1841, because of the change. The commanding site north of the green was chosen, and it and the building placed thereon have ever since been the pride of the people of Madison, the delight of all who visit the town. It is a building of notable architecture, acknowledged by all good judges to be one of the finest country churches of its type in New England. A handsome modern chapel was added to its equipment, on a plot just east of the green, in 1881.
The Bolton United Methodist Church is located at 1041 Boston Turnpike in the Quarryville section of Bolton. The church’s history is described in A Historical Sketch of Bolton, Connecticut (1920), by Samuel Morgan Alvord:
The Methodist Church began its work at an early date in Bolton with the first camp meeting ever held in a New England town. The noted itinerant preacher Lorenzo Dow was the leader and great crowds were attracted to his meetings which were held May 30 to June 3, 1805, near the Andover town line directly east of the South District School house. Rev. Mr. [George] Colton [of the Bolton Congregational Church] was deeply offended at this encroachment upon his rights. Camp meetings were held later near camp meeting spring on the South Manchester road.
The first Methodist Church was built at Ouarryville in 1834 near the present edifice. This building was sold to the Universalists in 1851 and moved some distance west and a new church was built the following year. Joseph Ireson was the first pastor in 1823.
A brief history of the “M.E. Church, Quarryville, Connecticut,” by Edgar A. Brownell appears in the Souvenir History of the New England Southern Conference in Three Volumes (1897). As Brownell describes:
Methodist meetings were first held in 1823, at the house of Isaac Keeney, and in pleasant weather were held under the shade of trees in the vicinity of what is known as Quarryville, sometimes under a large elm tree, near the late Isaac Keeney’s residence.
The first meeting-house was built in 1834, and stood near the site of the present one. and was sold to the Universalist Societv in 1851-2, and removed about eighty rods west. The present meeting-house was built in 1852, and cost between $3,000 and $4,000, and has never been without a minister and a fair congregation.
Some years since the Rev. James S. Thomas, then stationed here, thought the society needed a church bell and a barn. He procured the same, and then set at work to pay for them. During his pastorate here special services were held and a great revival took place, “and the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved,” many of whom are at present members in the church.
The First Methodist Society in Bridgeport was organized in 1817 and the first church building was opened in 1823. After this wood structure burned down in 1849 it was replaced by a brick one in 1850. After it was deemed unfit for continuing occupancy in the 1920s, a new edifice was built on Golden Hill, overlooking downtown Bridgeport. The new First Methodist Church and Parish House (333-47 Golden Hill Street/210 Elm Street) was constructed as a single structure in 1928-1929 (the church in the Gothic Revival style and the parish house in the Tudor Revival style) to plans by the architectural consortium of Southey, Allen, and Collens. In 1970, several other Methodist Churches merged with First Methodist Church and the church’s name was changed to Golden Hill United Methodist Church.