Most Holy Trinity Church, Wallingford (1887)

April 30th, 2017 Posted in Churches, Gothic, Wallingford

The first Catholic Mass in Wallingford was celebrated on December 22, 1847 in the home of James Hanlon on Main Street. Wallingford became a mission of St. Rose of Lima Church in Meriden in 1851. Services were soon held in Union Hall. As described in the 1895 Souvenir History of Wallingford, Connecticut:

The necessary funds for building of a church were soon after raised, the subscription list being added to liberally by the Protestants of the town. The first church was a building forty by sixty feet in dimensions, the corner stone of which was laid November 23, 1857 the ceremony being performed by Rev. Thomas Quinn. Before the building was completed, during the saying of mass, part of the unfinished floor gave way, resulting in the injury of several persons and causing great confusion.

The church was completed in 1859, but the new Holy Trinity parish would again become Meriden’s mission because of the decrease in members with the outbreak of the Civil War. Holy Trinity was restored to full parish status in 1867 and the cornerstone of a new church (68 North Colony Street) was blessed on September 24, 1876. Quoting again from the Souvenir History:

In 1875, the old church having become too small for the growing membership, ground was broken for a new edifice. On account of the scarcity of funds, progress was slow in the building of the new church, and while in an uncompleted state, in the summer of 1878, the old church was completely demolished by the tornado visiting Wallingford at that time, thirty members of the congregation being included among the citizens who perished thereby. The following year the new church had become so far completed as to admit of services being held in the basement, the present edifice, however, was not completed until 1887. The church property is among the finest of the State. The church is of cuneiform shape and a brick structure, 148 feet in length and 104 feet in its extreme width. From the floor to the apex of the roof the height is nearly 50 feet. The windows of the edifice, presented to the church, are marvels of art. Connected with the church is a handsome parochial residence[.]

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