American Legion Hall – Griffith Academy (1874)

Sunday, May 28th, 2017 Posted in Churches, Folk Victorian, Organizations, Wethersfield | No Comments »

The building at 275 Main Street, at the corner of Hartford Avenue, in Wethersfield, was built c. 1874-1876 as a Baptist Church. Declining membership led the church society to vote to disband in 1918 and deed their Main Street property to the Town of Wethersfield for use as a library. The town decided not to proceed with that project and in 1922 the building was sold to Russell K. Bourne D.S.C. Post of the American Legion, which changed it name to the Bourne-Keeney Post 23 in 1949. The name honors Russell K. Bourne, who was killed in action in 1918 during the First World War, and Robert A. Keeney, who lost his life when the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in 1945. The second floor hall of the building maintains the deck of the Minerva, used as training ground for the town’s Sea Scouts. In 2014, the Legion Post sold the building to the Griffith Academy, which teaches Irish dance. The Academy had been renting the Hall for many decades. The veterans continue to use the building as well, now renting the basement.

Conference House, Ellington (1835)

Sunday, May 14th, 2017 Posted in Ellington, Houses, Italianate | No Comments »

At 113-119 Maple Street in Ellington is a house built in 1835 with Italianate decorative features that were added later. A large second-floor room, known as the Conference Room, was used by the local Baptist Church when it was founded in the 1840s. This church appears not to have continued to the present day, as the current Ellington Baptist Church was established in 1993 by members who had been previously attending the Somers Baptist Church.

I Am That I Am Ministries (1906)

Sunday, April 2nd, 2017 Posted in Ansonia, Churches, Gothic | No Comments »

The church at 23 Franklin Street, at the corner of Arch Street, in Ansonia was built between 1900 and 1906: it does not appear on the 1900 Sanborn insurance map, but does appear on the 1906 Sanborn map, where it is labeled “Swedish Church.” In recent years it was the Evangelical Baptist Church (founded in 1958). It was placed on the market in August 2015 and was sold last July. It is now I Am That I Am Ministries Inc.

Living Proof Church (1848)

Sunday, March 12th, 2017 Posted in Ashford, Churches, Greek Revival | No Comments »

A Baptist church was established in Ashford in the village of Westford in 1780. In 1848 a new church was built in Warrenville section of town, as Richard M. Bayles describes in his History of Windham County, Connecticut (1889):

John Warren, Esq., manifested much anxiety to have a Baptist church organized in the western part of Ashford, in a village on the turnpike from Hartford to Boston and Providence. The First, or as it was often called, the Knowlton meeting house, was not considered so central, nor easy of access as many thought desirable. But the people in the vicinity of the old church were greatly opposed to giving up worship in their sanctuary, and continued for a time to worship there after another congregation was formed in “Pompey Hollow,” as the place was then called. Mr. Warren offered a fund to support worship in the Hollow, and the name of the village was changed to Warrenville. A church was organized January 22d, 1848[.]

The meeting house was completed that same year (1848). Later called the United Baptist Church, it is now known as Living Proof Church.

Macedonia Baptist Church (1892)

Sunday, January 22nd, 2017 Posted in Ansonia, Churches, Queen Anne | No Comments »

African-Americans in Ansonia established Macedonia Baptist Church in 1890 and two years later constructed a church building at 24 Clifton Avenue. When local roads were later rearranged, the church received a new address of 243 Pershing Drive.

Waterbury Assembly of God (1900)

Sunday, January 8th, 2017 Posted in Churches, Gothic, Naugatuck | No Comments »

Waterbury Assembly of God is a church located at 101 Prospect Street in Naugatuck. The church was built c. 1900. I think it may have been built originally as a Baptist Church, as described in History of Waterbury and the Naugatuck Valley, Connecticut, Vol. I (1918), by William J. Pape:

Among the citizens living in the Salem society soon after 1800 were a number of Baptists, who first worshipped in the church in Waterbury. In October, 1817, sixty persons living in Salem, Prospect and Bethany were set off from the Waterbury society to organize a new church in the localities indicated. Two meeting-houses were built, one on Fulling Mill Brook, and by December 22, 1819, the second was organized in the Straitsville locality.

It is the one on Fulling Mill Brook which later became the Naugatuck Baptist Church, with a fine church edifice on Prospect Street, in Union City.

First Baptist Church of Willimantic (1858)

Sunday, November 13th, 2016 Posted in Churches, Italianate, Windham | No Comments »

first-baptist-church

The First Baptist Church of Willimantic is located at 667 Main Street. As related in Bayles’ History of Windham County, Connecticut (1889):

The church was organized October 20th, 1827. At first the school houses were used for meetings, but a spirit of opposition arose and they were debarred this privilege. With aid from abroad they succeeded in building a meeting house on the site at present occupied. The site was purchased of Alfred Howes, and Messrs. Reed, Hardin and Fenton, of Mansfield, were contracted with to erect the church. The building, being completed, was dedicated May 27th, 1829. A Sabbath school was immediately organized. [. . .] The church is a neat and commodious building, which, with the lot it stands upon, is valued at twenty-five thousand dollars. Connected with the church is a vigorous Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor and a large and flourishing Sunday school.

The 1827 edifice was replaced with the current church building in 1858. As related on the church’s website:

In 1968, the First Baptist Church of Willimantic had an opportunity to sell its building after the Valentine’s Day Fire destroyed the 1865 Union Block. The declining church voted not to sell and to remain a downtown church, which is where it still stands. In 2002, First Baptist voted not to close its doors and instead chose to celebrate its 175th anniversary.