The first Catholic house of worship in Ansonia was a white frame chapel erected on Main Street in 1867-1868. It was named The Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Starting as a mission of Derby, parish status was conferred in 1870. A new church, designed by architect Patrick C. Keeley, was later erected over eighteen years at 61 North Cliff Street. Ground was broken in 1889 and the cornerstone was put into place on Sunday, September 6, 1891. The basement chapel was completed and began to be used in 1900 (it was later remodeled to become the Church Hall in 1967). The completed edifice was dedicated in June 1907. The original plan called for a tower that was never built.
The Congregational Church in Eastford was organized September 23, 1778. A meeting house was soon erected on Lieutenant John Russel’s land. The present church, located at 8 Church Road, was dedicated on December 23, 1829. The old church was removed, as described in Richard M. Bayles’ History of Windham County, Connecticut (1889):
Esquire Bosworth purchased the old meeting house, removed it from the common and made it into a dwelling house. The day for the removal was fixed, men were invited with their teams, and all was ready for the start, when a delegation came to Esquire Bosworth, saying the oxen would not draw unless the teamsters were treated. Esquire Bosworth had recently identified himself with the temperance cause, and the “rummies” hoped to bring him to terms, but they mistook their man. The words of his pastor at his funeral, “He was one of the firmest oaks that ever grew upon Mt. Zion,” were well spoken. Instantly the reply came, “It will rot down where it is, first.” Enough teams were unhitched to prevent the moving that day, but immediately an offer came from neighboring towns to furnish teams that would draw though the teamsters were not treated. Esquire Bosworth left a legacy of a thousand dollars, the interest to be applied to help support a settled orthodox minister, and for the support of no other.
Today the Congregational Church of Eastford is a nondenominational church.
In the early twentieth century a community of Hungarian immigrants was established in the town of Ashford. There is a Hungarian Social Club at 314 Ashford Center Road and at 200 Ashford Center Road is the former First Magyar Reformed Church. According to Ashford assessor records, the church was built in 1930 and was sold to a private owner in 2003. It was then renovated to become a residence. Next door to the former church is the Woodward Cemetery, which has burials primarily from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Saints Cyril & Methodius Russian Orthodox Church in Terryville in the town of Plymouth was established in 1908. The parish was formed after a split among the Rusyn/Lemko membership of the St. Michael Brotherhood of Terryville between Greek Catholic and Russian Orthodox factions. The Greek Catholics built St. Michael’s Church in 1910, while the Russian Orthodox built Saints Cyril & Methodius Church on the corner of Fairview and Ames Avenues in 1912. This original church, later enlarged, was replaced by by the current building circa 1979.
The Willington Baptist Church was organized on December 18, 1828 and the Baptist Meeting House was completed the following year. Albert Sharp, a local carpenter, was the builder. Members of an earlier Baptist church, established in the north part of town, joined the congregation of the new church. A conference room and Sunday school room were added to the building in 1842. Willington’s Baptist and Congregational Churches merged in 1911 to form the Federated Church of Willington. The federated congregation built the Clara Hall Elliott Memorial Church that same year and sold the old Congregational church building to the town in 1924. The Federated Church holds services in two buildings, from late September to Easter Sunday in the Hall Memorial Church and in the summer at the former Baptist Meeting House, now called the Hill Church.
The first meetinghouse of Bethany’s Congregational Church was erected between 1769 and 1773. It stood on Meetinghouse Hill on what is now Dayton Road. In 1831, the building was dismantled and material from it was used in the construction of the current Congregational Church, located at 511 Amity Road. The new church was designed by Ira Atwater and it is said that architect David Hoadley sat on the advisory committee. Among various alterations over the years, in 1866 the front portico was enclosed to enlarge the vestibule and in 1931 the church was moved back several feet to accommodate the widening of Amity Road.
Grace Episcopal Church in Hartford was first established in 1863 as a mission chapel of Trinity Church on Sigourney Street and became an independent parish in 1912. Part of the original church, consecrated on November 11, 1868, survives as the central section of the current church building. That building’s entrance and belfry faced New Park Avenue. A ten-foot addition was added to the front of the original 50’x 22′ chapel in 1908-1909. The building, located at 55 New Park Avenue, was further enlarged in 1966-1967, when the nave was lengthened to include the present choir loft and the sanctuary was also expanded. The entrance was moved to the south side, which also included a new bell tower, and the Chapel of Our Lady of Walsingham was added on the north side. The chapel was rededicated in 2006 with the installation of a new icon, to St. Martin, Grace Church’s patron saint. The church has a connected parish house designed by George Keller. Read the rest of this entry »