Former Gales Ferry Methodist Church (1857)

Sunday, April 24th, 2016 Posted in Churches, Ledyard, Vernacular | No Comments »

Former Gales Ferry Methodist Church

The building at 6 Hurlbutt Road in the Gales Ferry section of Ledyard was erected in 1857 as the Gales Ferry Methodist Church. The church was established in 1803 and their first church building was a structure that had been moved to the site in 1815. This was replaced by the 1857 church, to which an addition was built on the rear in 1954 that doubled the size of the building. The church moved to a new building in the mid-1960s and in 1969 the old church was purchased by Church & Allen Funeral Service. After being on the market for several years the building was converted to retail use in 2011. Next door is the former church parsonage built in 1928.

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Higganum United Methodist Church (1862)

Sunday, March 20th, 2016 Posted in Churches, Greek Revival, Haddam | No Comments »

Higganum United Methodist Church

Methodist meetings were held in Higganum (in Haddam) in the Old Red Schoolhouse from 1834 until it burned down in 1857. The congregation then met in private home until they built a church at 248 Saybrook Road in 1862. It is the only Methodist Church remaining in the town of Haddam (an earlier church erected in 1837 on Walkley Hill Road is no longer standing).

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Woodbury United Methodist Church (1839)

Sunday, February 14th, 2016 Posted in Churches, Greek Revival, Woodbury | No Comments »

Woodbury United Methodist Church

The Woodbury United Methodist Church, located at 4 Church Street in Woodbury, was erected in 1839. It replaced an earlier church the Methodists had built on the same site in 1824. The origins of the church are described in the History of Ancient Woodbury (1854) by William Cothren:

About the year 1790, before the general conference was formed in 1792, the first Methodist sermon in Woodbury was preached in the open air, in the street under the Rock, on which the Masonic Hall stands, by Rev. Samuel Wigdon, who was sent to preach in Litchfield circuit. This town was added to that circuit, and there was occasional preaching here after that to such as would “hear the word.” The first class was formed some time between the date of the first sermon and the year 1800. The church continued in a feeble condition till 1812, when Elijah Sherman, senior, better known to the people of this communion, and of the town, by the name of ” Father Sherman,” became dissatisfied with the Episcopal church, on account of some difference of opinion, as is understood, in relation to the adoption of the Episcopal church constitution, joined the Methodist denomination, and became very active and zealous in advancing its interests. The exact date of this transaction is not now at hand, but he was appointed the first regular class leader in 1812. Previous to this, the several ministers who had officiated here, had fulfilled the duties of that office. At this organization of the class, in 1812, the number of communicants was forty. From this time till 1824, “Father Sherman” threw open the doors of his house, and it became the place of public worship for this church. Having increased in numbers and means, they erected the first meeting-house on the site of the present church edifice, in 1824. But the class and social meetings of the society continued to be held at the house of Mr. Sherman, till the erection of the present commodious church, in 1839. This edifice is furnished with a good basement, and from that date the social meetings of the church have been held in it. The society here continued to constitute a part of some other circuit till 1832, when the circuit of Woodbury was formed, and this became the place of residence for its ministers.

In 1878 the church building was turned 90 degrees to face Church Street instead of Main Street and 21 feet in length were added to the rear.

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East Berlin United Methodist Church (1896)

Sunday, October 18th, 2015 Posted in Berlin, Churches, Gothic | No Comments »

East Berlin United Methodist Church

The East Berlin United Methodist Church was first organized as the East Berlin Methodist Episcopal Church in 1864. Services were held at various locations until a church building was completed in 1876. This small building was enlarged to to become the current church at 139 Main Street in 1896. That same year a parsonage was also constructed. The building once had an original Tiffany stained glass window. The church was restored after it was damaged by a fire in 1949.

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Former Methodist Church, Southbury (1832)

Sunday, July 12th, 2015 Posted in Churches, Greek Revival, Southbury | No Comments »

698 South Britain Rd., Southbury

The former Methodist Episcopal Church in South Britain, Southbury, has long been vacant and is in a dilapidated condition. Located at 698 South Britain Road, the simplicity of its design contrasts with the more elaborate Congregational Church directly across the street. The early history of the church is described in the History of Ancient Woodbury, Vol. I (1854) by William Cothren:

The first society of the Methodist Episcopal church, in the present town of Southbury, was organized at the south part of the town, on “George’s Hill,” about the year 1803, and consisted of about six members. They met at that time in a building formerly occupied as a school-house. But, in a few years, it was greatly enlarged, remodeled, and made more convenient and ample in its accommodations.

The society continued to increase in numbers until the church was filled to its utmost capacity. It soon became quite too small to accommodate the worshiping congregation.

In the year 1832, the society erected and dedicated a larger and more convenient house in South Britain. There they worshiped until the year 1851, when the edifice was enlarged and made a neat and elegant house of worship. The society now (1853) numbers about sixty-five communicants, and the church is well filled with a devout worshiping congregation.

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Hockanum United Methodist Church (1952)

Sunday, May 24th, 2015 Posted in Churches, Colonial Revival, East Hartford | No Comments »

Hockanum United Methodist Church

The Hockanum Methodist Episcopal Church, later the Hockanum United Methodist Church, was started in the early 1820s in the community of Hockanum in the south part of East Hartford. It was one of the first churches founded after the new Connecticut constitution of 1818 guaranteed the separation of church and state. Their original church building on South Main Street was built in 1838 and was remodeled in 1883-1884. A kitchen wing was added in 1911. Rev. Benjamin C. Phelps, who was a minister at the Hockanum Methodist Church, built the octagon house on Naubuc Avenue in East Hartford in 1852. After the neighborhood grew rapidly during World War II, plans were made to move the old church to a new site, just 50 feet to the south, where it would form part of a new and larger structure. Before being moved, in October 1951, the old building was raised to create room at the new site for a basement hall. Completed early the following year, the new church consisted of the old sanctuary, remodeled and lengthened, with a new front entrance and a new education wing at the rear. The facade of the new church was 20 feet further from Main Street than its predecessor, allowing space for a front lawn. In 2007 the church (address 178 Main Street) was sold to La Iglesia de Dios Evangelica El Refugio.

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Bolton United Methodist Church (1852)

Sunday, March 15th, 2015 Posted in Bolton, Churches, Greek Revival | No Comments »

Bolton United Methodist Church

The Bolton United Methodist Church is located at 1041 Boston Turnpike in the Quarryville section of Bolton. The church’s history is described in A Historical Sketch of Bolton, Connecticut (1920), by Samuel Morgan Alvord:

The Methodist Church began its work at an early date in Bolton with the first camp meeting ever held in a New England town. The noted itinerant preacher Lorenzo Dow was the leader and great crowds were attracted to his meetings which were held May 30 to June 3, 1805, near the Andover town line directly east of the South District School house. Rev. Mr. [George] Colton [of the Bolton Congregational Church] was deeply offended at this encroachment upon his rights. Camp meetings were held later near camp meeting spring on the South Manchester road.

The first Methodist Church was built at Ouarryville in 1834 near the present edifice. This building was sold to the Universalists in 1851 and moved some distance west and a new church was built the following year. Joseph Ireson was the first pastor in 1823.

A brief history of the “M.E. Church, Quarryville, Connecticut,” by Edgar A. Brownell appears in the Souvenir History of the New England Southern Conference in Three Volumes (1897). As Brownell describes:

Methodist meetings were first held in 1823, at the house of Isaac Keeney, and in pleasant weather were held under the shade of trees in the vicinity of what is known as Quarryville, sometimes under a large elm tree, near the late Isaac Keeney’s residence.

The first meeting-house was built in 1834, and stood near the site of the present one. and was sold to the Universalist Societv in 1851-2, and removed about eighty rods west. The present meeting-house was built in 1852, and cost between $3,000 and $4,000, and has never been without a minister and a fair congregation.

Some years since the Rev. James S. Thomas, then stationed here, thought the society needed a church bell and a barn. He procured the same, and then set at work to pay for them. During his pastorate here special services were held and a great revival took place, “and the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved,” many of whom are at present members in the church.

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