Trinity Lutheran Church, Centerbrook (1977)

August 6th, 2017 Posted in Churches, Colonial Revival, Essex

The Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Trinity Church, in the village of Centerbrook in Essex, was founded in 1898. The congregation erected their original church building, next to the Falls River millpond on Main Street, in 1907-1908. Services continued to be held in Swedish until the late 1940s. The church was destroyed by fire in the early hours of March 21, 1975. A new Trinity Lutheran Church was soon rebuilt on the same site, 109 Main Street. After the fire, the congregation had investigated the old building’s cornerstone to see if something had been sealed inside by the Swedish immigrant founders of the church. Nothing was found there, but then the great-grandson of the man who had laid the original foundation shared the story, handed down to him, that there had been indeed been a box of artifacts placed in the foundation. A new search in the wall behind the cornerstone revealed a copper box, containing a historical account of the church’s founding in Swedish, coins, a 1907 Swedish almanac and other documents. The box was resealed with other items added by the congregation in a new container and placed in the new church’s cornerstone (see Emily Sigler, “Artifacts Going Back Into Church Walls,” Hartford Courant, May 25, 1976). In 2005, the church completed a renovation and expansion project that almost completely rebuilt the structure and added 1,600 square feet on its east side. A new altar was built as an extension with windows providing views of the neighboring pond and river.

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