The earliest Baptist Church in what would become Jewett City was established in 1786. It met in the house of Amos Read in Lisbon and was known as the Preston and Canterbury Baptist Church. As related in the History of New London County (1882), compiled by D. Hamilton Hurd,
They united with the school district in building a school-house sufficiently large for meeting purposes. This house stood on the site of the old “Fenner store.” In 1813 they united with the Episcopalians in building a regular house of worship. They now numbered 162, and had as a pastor Rev. Caleb Read, a son of their former pastor. A majority of the stock in this house was bought up by a single individual and the house closed against them.
As explained in the Jewett City Souvenir (1896)
The church building was allowed to pass into other hands, and the Baptists were compelled to betake themselves to the school-house which they had previously occupied and which they had helped to build. Soon they lost this place of worship and then followed their extinction.
Again as related in the History of New London County (1882):
In the spring of 1840, Rev. Benajah Cook came among them to labor. He found the church disorganized and dispirited. However, he succeeded in gathering a band of thirty-seven, who on Sept. 13, 1840, were organized into what is still known as the Jewett City Baptist Church. They elected Reuben Barber and Rufus Williams to be deacons. They built and dedicated a house of worship Nov. 30, 1841. This same house, twice enlarged and remodeled, is still used. Its estimated value, with its surroundings, is eleven thousand dollars.
The church appears to have since lost the upper section of its steeple.
The Jewett City Savings Bank was founded in 1873. It began business in an old building, previously occupied by the Jewett City National Bank, which had closed around 1870. The bank moved into a new Romanesque Revival-style building in 1890. According to an article in the Hartford Courant of August 23, 1890 (“Jewett City: Impressions Made on One by the Village After an Absence From It”), the building was “a fine brick structure, and more conveniently arranged banking rooms than it contains cannot be found in the the state outside of the large cities.” Now gone, it was located next to the Slater Library. According to the Jewett City Souvenir (1896), It’s upper floor was “rented for a town clerk’s office and the general business of the town of Griswold.” The bank’s current Neoclassical building at 111 Main Street was built in 1929. A later expansion seems to have more than doubled its size. Read the rest of this entry »
The Slater Library, at 26 Main Street in Jewett City, serves the towns of Griswold and Lisbon. The library was the gift of industrialist and philanthropist John Fox Slater, who owned the Slater Mills in Jewett City. It had not been completed at the time of his death in 1884. His son, William Albert Slater, oversaw its completion and the library was dedicated in 1885. William A. Slater also donated the Slater Memorial Museum in Norwich in honor of his farther. The Slater Library was designed by Stephen C. Earle of Worcester. It was constructed of granite, brought from Milford, Mass., and brownstone. The library‘s size was doubled in 1930 with the building of an addition (the Fanning Annex), designed by Cudworth and Thompson of Norwich.
St. Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary parish was established in Jewett City 1872. In 1866, when the parish was still a mission, Father James Quinn purchased a small fieldstone church, which had earlier been owned by Episcopalians and then Congregationalists. The seating capacity of this church was increased in 1875 and its stone walls were covered with white-painted siding. In 1891 the Enoch Hawkins estate, located behind the small church, was purchased and it was on this land that construction of the current St. Mary’s Church began in 1906. The cornerstone was laid on Sunday, August 19, 1906 and the church, at 34 North Main Street, was dedicated on on Trinity Sunday, May 26, 1907. Its exterior was built of red brick, Indiana limestone and Portland brownstone with terra cotta trimming. The church’s bell is the same one installed by the Congregationalists in the small fieldstone church in 1838. The church originally had a tall steeple, but it was so weakened by the hurricane of 1938 (it was displaced almost a foot off its base) that it had to be removed.