The original Warburton Chapel once stood at 61 Temple Street in Hartford, between Market and Front Streets. The Chapel began as the Union Sabbath School, started in 1851 as a mission of Hartford’s Center Church to residents of the city’s East Side. It occupied various quarters until Mary A. Warburton endowed a permanent home for the school and mission chapel on Temple Street in memory of her husband, John Warburton. The Warburton Chapel was dedicated on June 28, 1866 and rapid growth led to the construction of an addition in 1873. By 1916, the neighborhood around the Warburton Chapel was primarily Italian, and the building also served as the home of the First Italian Congregational Church. In 1948, Center Church decided to sell the Chapel and relocate its programs to the Center Church House on Gold Street. The Warburton Chapel was acquired by St. Anthony’s Catholic Parish, which converted it to serve as its new social center, named the Casa Andrea in memory of Rev. Andrew J. Kelly, who served as pastor of St. Anthony’s Church for 29 years. The chapel was demolished in 1960 to clear space for the building of Constitution Plaza.
The Charter Oak Community Church, an interracial interdenominational church, was established in 1942 and held its services in the community building of the Charter Oak Terrace public housing project. In 1954, the Hartford Housing Authority agreed to the sale of land at the corner of Brookfield Street and Charter Oak Avenue to the Trustees of Warburton Chapel for the construction of a building for the Charter Oak Church. Funds from the sale of the old Warburton Chapel were used to erect the new building, known as the Warburton Community Church. Designed by E.T Glasse, Jr., of Farmington, the new church at 420 Brookfield Street was dedicated on May 6, 1956. Read the rest of this entry »
The Congregational Church in the village of Stony Creek in Branford was gathered in 1877 and soon purchased a building known as Union Chapel for its services. Union Chapel had been constructed in 1866 by the Union Religious Society, formed in 1865 by Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, and Congregationalists in Branford as a missionary outreach to Stony Creek. The old wood structure was destroyed by fire in 1900. It was replaced by the current Stony Creek Church of Christ Congregational, a Norman Gothic edifice constructed between 1901 and 1903 of Stony Creek red granite. A basement kitchen and meeting room were added in 1907.
Southport was for many years a part of the Fairfield parish. The people of Southport, having built a meeting-house in their own village in 1841, resolved at a meeting held February 18, 1843, to form a new church, and therefore called a council of the five neighboring churches for March 7, 1843. This council organized “The Southport Congregational Church,” with a membership of twenty-eight. The sermon in the afternoon was by the Rev. Lyman Hotchkiss Atwater, of Fairfield. In the evening the meeting-house was set apart to the worship of God, the Rev. Dr. Nathaniel Hewit, of Bridgeport, preaching the dedication sermon. The church was received into the Fairfield West Consociation June 6, 1843.
On December 21, 1866, the Middlefield Methodist Church was dedicated in commemoration of the hundredth anniversary of Methodism. The Middlefield Congregational Church, built on the town green in 1842, stood across the road. By the turn of the century, the number of Congregationalists had decreased. In 1921 the Congregational and Methodist churches became federated and the united congregation rotated services between the two churches each month. After almost a decade this practice was deemed too expensive, so services were afterwards held only at the Methodist Church, the older Congregational edifice being considered unsafe. It was eventually torn down in 1942. Additions have been made over the years to the current Federated Church building, which is located at 402 Main Street.
The Somers Congregational Church began in 1827. The congregation’s first meeting house was located on the corner of Springfield and Stebbins Road, where the North Cemetery is today. After the first meeting house was destroyed by fire, a second one was built near the same location. By the time the third meeting house was built in 1840-1842, the center of town had shifted to the south, so the new building was constructed at what is now 599 Main Street. The Town of Somers agreed to contribute to the cost of the building, provided that space within could be used for town meetings. These meetings continued in the Foundation Room at the church until a separate town hall was built in 1950. Over the years the meeting house was expanded: Pilgrim Hall was moved from across the street and attached to the existing Meeting House in 1949 and a parish hall, the Bugbee Center, was built in 1960 as a separate building and later joined to the meeting house. On New Year’s Day, 2012 the 1840 meeting house section of the church was destroyed by fire. Plans were soon underway to rebuild the structure with a basically identical exterior appearance. Work began in September, 2012. In order to bring the building up to code, the congregation had to move the new building a few feet back from Main Street compared to its predecessor. The first service in the newly rebuilt sanctuary was held on Easter Sunday this year (2014). A new bell, designed to resemble the original made in 1850, was placed in the new building’s tower on May 1.
The manufacturing village of Taftville in Norwich was established in 1866 and centered on the Taftville Mill, which later became the Ponemah Mill, the largest textile mill in the world under one roof. The company gave land to the village’s Congregational Society, which built the Taftville Congregational Church in 1904. The asymmetrical building has a shingled exterior.
When Warren was settled in 1737 it was still part of the Town of Kent. A separate ecclesiastical society, called the Society of East Greenwich, was established in 1750 and Warren was incorporated as a town in 1786. Early church services were conducted in a log schoolhouse, located about a mile west of the present center of Warren. In December 1767, services moved to a still unfinished meeting house, which was completed in 1769. By 1815, the building was in such disrepair that the congregation voted to build a new one, sited slightly behind the earlier structure. The current Warren Congregational Church (4 Sackett Hill Road) was built between 1818 and 1820.