St. John’s Episcopal Church, located at 679 Farmington Avenue in West Hartford, was preceded by the parish’s original church, located on Main Street in downtown Hartford. Designed by noted New Haven architect Henry Austin during the period he had an office in Hartford, the first St. John’s Church was consecrated on April 30, 1842. The main body of the church and the lower section of its tower were constructed of Portland brownstone. The upper tower and spire were made of wood and had to be removed in 1875 due to structural decay. In 1905, the parish decided to sell its land on Main Street to the trustees of the Wadsworth Atheneum. The church was taken down in 1907 and the Atheneum’s Morgan Memorial Building was erected in its place. (You can read more about the original St. John’s Church on Main Street in my book Vanished Downtown Hartford, pp. 128-131).
Downtown Hartford had been developing rapidly as a business and commercial center at the time and many churches there were relocating to more residential areas to the west. The new St. John’s Church was built in 1907-1909 on Farmington Avenue, just across the Hartford line in West Hartford. The new church, designed by noted architect Bertram G. Goodhue, was consecrated on June 9, 1909. Due to budgetary limitations, Goodhue’s plans for an adjoining parish house were not completed until 1914-1915. The cornerstone for a new and larger parish house was laid in 1927 and at the same time the church built a cloister and outdoor pulpit. In 1928 the nave was lengthened to the north, toward Farmington Avenue, and a new entrance was built on that side (the previous entrance had faced west towards Highland Avenue). The church was extensively restored and altered inside after a fire in 1992.
Calvary St. George is an Episcopal parish in Bridgeport. St. George’s Parish was organized in 1892 with a church, first known as St. John’s West End Chapel, at the corner of Clinton and Beechwood Avenues. The current church was built in 1930 at the same location, 755 Clinton Avenue. Calvary Episcopal Church, once located at North Avenue and Wells Street, later at 510 Summit Street, merged with St. George’s in 2005.
Meeting House Hill in North Guilford is noted for the impressive view of its two early-nineteenth-century churches: the North Guilford Congregational Church and St. John’s Episcopal Church. The latter, located at 129 Ledge Hill Road, was built in 1812-1814 in the Federal style. The church was originally founded by members who had left the North Congregational Church in 1747, building their first small meeting house south of the hill in 1754. By 1812 they had developed a solid relationship with their neighboring church, which donated land for them to to build a new church on Meeting House Hill. The top section of the original steeple was removed and replaced with a belfry in 1843. The interior was remodeled and the chancel, sacristy, and vestry were added in 1870. Around the same time, Gothic arches were added to the windows as well. The belfry was repaired after being struck by lightning in 1890. Originally standing on large stones, the church did not acquire a permanent foundation until the 1950s. A rear addition added in 1972.
The cornerstone for St. John’s Episcopal Church, at the northeast corner of the Green (current address: 3 Trumbull Place) in North Haven, was laid in 1834. Episcopalians in the town first gathered to organize their own Episcopal church in 1759. The current Gothic Revival church was preceded by a wooden church, without a steeple, dedicated on the same site on St. John’s Day, December 27, 1761.
The Parish House of Christ Episcopal Church in Roxbury was built around 1835 as the Old Center Schoolhouse. Roxbury Center School closed in 1942 and the building was sold to Christ Church. An addition was constructed in 1958 and the Parish House (located at 4 Wellers Bridge Road) was thoroughly renovated in the 1990s.
An Episcopal parish, believed to be the oldest in Litchfield County, was organized in Roxbury in 1740. The first Episcopal church building in Roxbury was built soon after (certainly by 1763 and perhaps as early as the 1740s). That church, which does not survive today, was located on “Old Roxbury Road” near the junction with “Lower Country Road.” The current church building, at 4 Weller’s Bridge Road, was erected in 1807. It took the name Christ Church in 1841. Its current Carpenter Gothic style dates to 1861, when the structure was rotated from its original eastward facing position to face south and was completely renovated.
The mill village of Yantic in Norwich was home to the Yantic Woolen Company Mill. In 1824 Erastus Williams purchased a preexisting mill and enlarged it to produce woolen products. He and his wife, Elizabeth Dorr Tracy, oversaw the organization of Grace Episcopal Church in Yantic in 1853. Their daughter Elizabeth was the first church organist. Erastus was succeeded by his son and then by his grandson, Winslow Tracy Williams. Under the latter’s administration a new Grace Episcopal Church was erected. It was dedicated in 1902.