Elmwood Community Church (1928)

Sunday, February 18th, 2018 Posted in Churches, Colonial Revival, West Hartford | No Comments »

In 1873, the South District Sunday School was organized to serve the Elmwood section of West Hartford. Within a few years the organization raised funds to erect a chapel. Built in 1876, the interdenominational Elmwood Chapel was located at the corner of New Britain Avenue and Grove Street/South Quaker Lane. Classes were held there on Sunday afternoons followed by services in the evening. After the First World War, attendance at the Chapel was increasing and there was a need for a new house of worship. In April 1921, a new independent Community Church was organized which merged with the earlier Elmwood Chapel Association. The new church would be Congregational, but members of the old Chapel would maintain their denominational affiliation. Funds were raised and work began on the new church, located at 26 Newington Road, in 1926. The corner stone was laid on May 8, 1927 by a Masonic delegation from the Wyllys Lodge No. 99 of West Hartford. The church opened for services in 1928, but parts of the interior and the steeple were not completed for several years. The sanctuary was renovated and rededicated in 1955 and in 1958 the church undertook an expansion program that included the raising of the steeple.

Nepaug Bible Church (1848)

Sunday, December 24th, 2017 Posted in Churches, Greek Revival, New Hartford | No Comments »

The original Congregational Church in New Hartford stood in the Town Hill Section. Built in 1739-1749, it was replaced by a new church in 1829. Residents in the north and south sections of town wanted churches located closer to where they lived and eventually formed their own Congregational societies. The North Congregational Church was built in 1828. A South Congregational Society was formed in 1846 in Nepaug, which was then the center of town. The church edifice, called the Nepaug Congregational Church, was built in 1848. As described in the History of Litchfield County (1881):

Much dissatisfaction with the location of the new Town Hill church was felt by the members resident at South End, who naturally wished to have it placed midway between the two settlements, waiving all attachment for the old site. This discontent gradually increased until, in 1848, the South Congregational Church of New Hartford was organized and the present church edifice built at Nepaug.

The same book describes the church building as follows:

The church edifice is of wood, with a tower and bell. It has a basement containing a lecture-room, where town-meetings have been held on
alternate years. During the year 1880 about six hundred dollars were expended on the building, which is now in thorough repair.

Now called the Nepaug Bible Church, it is located at 780 Litchfield Turnpike (Route 202). The steeple was originally twice as high. Read the rest of this entry »

Ivoryton Congregational Church (1888)

Sunday, November 5th, 2017 Posted in Churches, Essex, Folk Victorian | No Comments »

In the mid-nineteenth century, Ivoryton in Essex developed as a factory village around Comstock, Cheney & Company, manufacturers of products made from ivory. The heirs of company founder Samuel Merritt Comstock, under the leadership of Harriet Comstick, erected the Comstock Memorial Chapel in 1887-1888. As a mission of the Centerbrook Congregational Church, the Chapel allowed church members in Ivoryton to attend services closer to their homes. In 1898 the building became the property of the new Ivoryton Congregational Church, which had become a separate church from the one in Centerbrook. The Ivoryton Church, located at 57 Main Street, was enlarged in 1906. In 2017, the congregation, which now has approximately 25 active members, decided to put the church building on the market. It was acquired by a developer who plans to convert the building into condominiums. The final service in the church was held on October 1, 2017. The congregation now holds services at the Essex Congregational Church.

Trumbull Congregational Church (1899)

Sunday, September 17th, 2017 Posted in Churches, Gothic, Trumbull | No Comments »

The Congregational Church in Trumbull was first established in 1730. Services were initially held at Pulpit Rock on White Plains Road. The first meeting house was built on the corner of White Plains Road and Unity Road. The congregation’s second meeting house was built in 1747 on what is now Church Hill Road, just west of where the Helen Plumb Building would be built in 1883. Over the years, the expanding road moved closer to the church and many a horse and wagon, coming down the hill on icy days, collided with the corner of the building. In 1842 a new church was erected on the same site, but located further back toward the Pequonnock River. A fire destroyed this building in 1898. The cornerstone for the current church, built at a new location at 3115 Reservoir Avenue, was laid on September 28, 1898 and the building was dedicated on on May 11, 1899. The church was constructed of stone quarried north of Beardsley Park.

Higganum Congregational Church (1845)

Sunday, May 21st, 2017 Posted in Churches, Greek Revival, Haddam | No Comments »

In 1844, residents of the village of Higganum in the town of Haddam successfully petitioned to form their own ecclesiastical society, taking 135 members of the First Congregational Church of Haddam and that church’s minister, Rev. David Dudley Field. On July 23, 1845, the new congregation dedicated the Higganum Congregational Church at 23 Parsonage Road. In 1870, a rear addition to the church building was erected containing a chapel, conference room and kitchen. Another addition was constructed in 2012 to provide Christian Education classrooms, the church office and a remodeled Fellowship Hall.

South Congregational Church, Granby (1918)

Sunday, April 16th, 2017 Posted in Churches, Colonial Revival, Granby | No Comments »

Happy Easter! Granby‘s South Congregational Church was organized on Salmon Brook Street in 1872. Originally called the Congregational Society of Salmon Brook, it met in a hall on the second floor of a building erected for the Granby Library Association in 1869. This structure, later also used as a Town House, burned down in 1917. While one newspaper editor suggested that it was time for the South Church to merge with Granby’s First Congregational Church, this notion conflicted with local beautification plans aimed at developing Salmon Brook as an ideal New England village. The Church and the Town worked together to erect a complex of four community buildings in the Colonial Revival style: the new Church, the Church’s Community House (also available to local groups not affiliated with the Church), a schoolhouse and a library. The 1918 Church was designed by the H. Wales Lines Company of Meriden. The gable-roofed, transverse section at the rear, designed by Carl R. Blanchard, Jr. of New Haven, was added in 1950.

First Congregational Church of South Windham (1902)

Sunday, March 5th, 2017 Posted in Churches, Folk Victorian, Gothic, Queen Anne, Windham | No Comments »

The early religious history of the village of South Windham (part of the town of Windham) is provided by Richard M. Bayles in his History of Windham County, Connecticut (1889):

The only church of this village is an offshoot from the Congregational church of Windham. For twenty-five years, more or less, services have been conducted here on occasional Sabbaths or on week-day evenings. The old Fitch school house is used for religious services. This is a building once intended for a private school, and is rented of private owners for religious services. It stands near and is connected with the Warner House, a hotel of commodious size standing near the depot of the New London Northern railroad. It is now owned by Alfred Kinne. For a few years back religious services on Sunday have been omitted, but in March, 1888, a Society of Christian Endeavor was formed here, and in the following December a church was organized, which now numbers eighteen members. During the winter a revival occurred. Since December 7th, 1888, preaching services have been held every Sunday afternoon by the pastor of the old church at Windham Centre. A Sunday school is also maintained here.

Once this church, which was a branch of the Windham Congregational Church, was established in the village in 1888, a Ladies’ Missionary Society was also formed which began collecting for a fund to erect a church edifice in South Windham. As related in the Hartford Courant (“Church Dedication,” October 22, 1902):

President Guilford Smith of the Smith Winchester Company became interested in the project and it was very largely through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Smith that the branch society is now possessed of the beautiful church. The donations of Mr. and Mrs. Smith were supplemented by those of almost every one who resided in the village and by many who lived out of the place, but had it not been for the generous gifts of land and money by Mr. and Mrs. Smith it is not likely that the society would have realized its long cherish[ed] hope for many years.

The Courant article further concluded that “probably no manufacturing village of the size can boast of so finely appointed and convenient a church building.” The church, located at 361 South Windham Street, was dedicated on October 21, 1902.