Clinton AME Zion Church in Ansonia was originally organized in Derby in 1874/1875. Early meetings were held in a hall over J. P. Swift’s Store, later Pucella’s Garage, at the corner of New Haven Avenue and Gilbert Street in Derby. The church affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in 1882 and adopted the name its pastor, Rev. J. J. Clinton, in 1888, incorporating as Clinton Memorial AME Zion Church. A new church building was erected on Derby Avenue, but the church later decided to relocate to Ansonia, which had a growing African American population. According to Ansonia assessor’s information, the new church, located at 96 Central Street, was built in 1950. The church had to be repaired after it was damaged in the flood of 1956 (see “$5,800 Spells Restored Hopes For Flood-Hit Ansonia Church,” Hartford Courant, February 4, 1956).
Camp meetings were a notable feature of religious life in nineteenth-century America and some continue in existence today. This site has already featured the Plainville Campground and Camp Bethel in Haddam. Another religious campground is the Willimantic Camp Meeting Association. It was established by Methodists who held the first meeting here on September 3, 1860. Today it is an interdenominational Evangelical Association. At its height the camp had 300 buildings, primarily cottages built by individual churches or families. A third of them were destroyed by the hurricane of 1938 and another hundred were lost to neglect over the ensuing decades. 100 cottages remain and constitute an architectural treasure. Read the rest of this entry »
Hartford’s Swedish Emanuel Methodist Church was organized in 1896. The congregation worshiped in a room in the Boardman Building on Asylum Street before moving to a church building at the corner of Hungerford and Grand Streets in 1899. In 1921 the church dedicated its second building at the corner of Boulevard and Lockwood Terrace in West Hartford. Originally services were conducted only in Swedish, but in 1941 the Eastern Swedish Conference was dissolved and the church affiliated with the East New York Conference of the Methodist Church, discontinuing the use of Swedish. In 1957 the church acquired property at 1358 New Britain Avenue and soon began construction of what is now the Westb Hartford United Methodist Church. That same year the old church on Boulevard was sold and became the Boulevard Baptist Church. Today the building is home to Angels On Assignment Christian Church and Jesus the Cornerstone Pentecostal Church of Hartford.
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.
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 »
Christ Church, an Episcopal church at 470 Quaker Farms Road in Oxford, was built in 1812 and was consecrated on September 3, 1817. It was designed by George Boult of Southford. Begun as a mission of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Oxford center, Christ Church became a separate parish in 1826. The church has a crystal chandelier that it received in 1881 as a gift from Trinity Church, Seymour, which itself had received it as a gift from St. Ann’s Church in Brooklyn, New York, where it originally hung. The steeple of Christ Church was rebuilt in 1968.
The Kensington United Methodist Church at the corner of Church and Hotchkiss Streets in Berlin was built in 1893 and a modern education wing added in 1961. The church was first organized in 1858 as the Kensington Methodist Episcopal Church and met in the Berlin Town Hall until their first church was built in 1865 at the corner of Percival Avenue and Sbona Road.