The building at 130 Main Street in Wethersfield was built as a Methodist church and is today a synagogue. The first Methodist sermon in Wethersfield was preached in 1790 by Jesse Lee in the North Brick School House, now the site of Standish Park. Wethersfield was visited by itinerant Methodist preachers until a circuit preacher for Wethersfield, Newington, New Britain, and Kensington was appointed in 1821. Early services were held at Academy Hall until the Methodist Episcopal Church was built at 130 Main Street in 1824. The church was moved 26 feet onto a new stone foundation in 1882. A fire in 1941 destroyed the church’s original Sunday school addition of 1913 and damaged the sanctuary. The church was repaired and a new Sunday school addition, twice as large, was constructed. The church soon outgrew its 1824 building and in 1959 moved to a new church at 150 Prospect Street.
The Jewish Community Group of Wethersfield was formed in 1954. The group purchased the former Methodist Church on Main Street in 1960 and adopted the name Temple Beth Torah. The building was converted to become a synagogue and the new Temple’s Day of Dedication was celebrated on May 28, 1961. Work began in 1964 to give the Temple a new facade. The former church’s steeple was removed and a new entrance in the colonial revival style was added.
The Allyn Smith House, at 168 Broad Street in Wethersfield, was built in 1790 on what had been the homesite of Abraham Finch in 1634. Abraham Finch (d. 1638) was one of the ten adventurers who first settled Wethersfield.
Built around 1800-1802, the brick house at 200 Broad Street in Wethersfield is attributed to the local builder, James Francis. The Colonial Revival front porch is a later addition. The house was originally the residence of Dr. Abner Moseley (1766-1811). Born in Glastonbury, Dr. Moseley was a graduate of Yale. In 1814, his daughter, Eunice, married Winthrop Buck, the son of Daniel and Sarah Saltonstall Buck. Sarah’s sister Elizabeth was the second wife of Silas Deane.
According to Edward Sweetser Tillotson’s Wethersfield Inscriptions (1899), Dr. Moseley’s stone in Wethersfield’s Old Burying Ground reads as follows:
In Memory of Abner Moseley, | a Physician of skill & eminence, | who died Sept. 20-th A.D. 1811, | Aged Forty five. | His Wife Eunice who died Jan. 26 | 1811. Aged Forty three. | Their second daughter Hope, who | died Sept. 29-th 1806, Aged 11. | Their eldest son Robert, who | died Oct. 16-th 1811, Aged 17. | Their youngest Daughter Maria | who died Sept. 30-th 1818. Aged 11. | Their second Son Joseph died July 1 | 1838. Aged 40. Their third Son Walter | died July II, 1838, Aged 39. | Their eldest Daughter Eunice. Wife of | Winthrop Buck, died Aug. 24, 1862. Aged 69. | Their youngest Son William | died March 19, 1868. Aged 62. | Their third Daughter Harriet | died July 15. 1877, Aged 75. | Their fourth daughter Emily | died May 17, 1887. Aged 84.
William Morris, founder of Morris Farms, built the house at 188 Broad Street in Wethersfield. His vegetable farming business was passed on to his son, John E. Morris, and then to John’s son, Frank H. Morris, who died in 2011.
The first Catholic parish in Wethersfield was Sacred Heart parish, organized in 1876. In August of 1938, the parish’s church on Hartford Avenue was devastated by fire. Rev. George M. Grady, pastor of Sacred Heart, soon purchased an extensive tract of land on the Silas Deane Highway for the construction of a new church. Many parishioners assumed that the new church was to replace the one lost in the fire, but it was decided to make the new building a mission church of Sacred Heart. Named Corpus Christi, the new church was designed by architect John J. McMahon (1875-1958) in the Georgian Revival style to reflect Wethersfield’s colonial background. It is built of Harvard red brick with limestone trim. The church was dedicated on November 26, 1939 and Corpus Christi was officially established as a separate parish on September 27, 1941.
In July of that same year, the church’s pastor, Rev. Patrick T. Quinian, received a letter from Bishop Ambrose Pinger of Shantung (now Shandong), China. A photograph of the Wethersfield church in the Catholic Directory of 1941 had captured the bishop’s imagination and he asked to be sent plans for the church so that its design might be copied for the new cathedral in Chowtsun (now Zhoucun)!
Formerly the schoolhouse of Wethersfield‘s West Hill District, the one-room school called the “Little Red Schoolhouse” was built in 1869 and still displays its two separate front entrances, one for boys and one for girls. The building was later used by the Wethersfield Police Department and is now home to the Wethersfield Art League.
The George Wells House, at 480 Wells Road in Wethersfield, was built in 1830. George Wells, a descendent of Governor Thomas Welles, built the house on the site where the home of his father, Elijah Wells, had once stood. For many years, owners of the new house kept the old corner cupboard from the demolished house. Note: This post was written on 09/02/2011 and backdated so that there would be a regular post for 04/01/2010 as well as an April Fool’s Post.