Nichols United Methodist Church (1981)

Sunday, July 16th, 2017 Posted in Churches, Colonial Revival, Trumbull | No Comments »

The Methodist Church in the historic village of Nichols in Trumbull began holding services in an old schoolhouse in 1828. A church building, facing Nichols Green, was dedicated on December 12, 1848. The building was enlarged and altered in 1905, 1960 and 1962. The current Nichols United Methodist Church, at 35 Shelton Road, replaced the earlier structure in 1981.

New Covenant United Methodist Church (1894)

Sunday, June 25th, 2017 Posted in Churches, East Hartford, Gothic | No Comments »

The following description of the Burnside Methodist Episcopal Society appears in East Hartford: Its History and Traditions (1879), by Joseph O. Goodwin:

The first meeting-house of the church society in Scotland [the original name for the area called Burnside in East Hartford] stood on the street just cast of the residence of the late William Hanmer. It was a plain brown house, built sometime before 1834, without cupola or steeple. It was moved back, and is now used on the Hanmer place for a horse barn. The site of the present meeting-house in Burnside was given to the society by Mr. George Goodwin. This church has now a fine organ, and a live and growing membership.

The church burned down on January 15, 1893. A new church was dedicated on March 14, 1894. The church, located at 16 Church Street, on the corner of Burnside Avenue, has been much expanded over the years, including an attached three-story brick education and fellowship building, completed in 1953. In 2006, the Burnside Methodist Church merged with the Hockanum Methodist Church to form New Covenant Methodist Church.

Wethersfield United Methodist Church (1959)

Sunday, June 11th, 2017 Posted in Churches, Colonial Revival, Wethersfield | No Comments »

Jesse Lee, a pioneering Methodist clergyman, preached the first Methodist sermon in Connecticut in Norwalk in June, 1789. He continued his journey through the state, preaching in various towns, and reached Wethersfield in March, 1790. There he preached the town’s first Methodist Sermon in the North Brick School House, now the site of Standish Park. Itinerant Methodist preachers continued to visit Wethersfield in the ensuing years. Starting in 1821, Wethersfield Methodists were served by a circuit preacher. As related in a Brief Historical Sketch of the Wethersfield M.E. Church (1882):

The early services were held in Academy hall, against the solemn protest of some of the leading men of the town, who no doubt thought they were doing God service by resisting what might have seemed to them as a pernicious innovation of the established creed of the State. So bitter was the feeling toward the Methodists that the place where the meeting was appointed was not only forbidden them, but the building was barricaded, and the means for lighting it were taken away. Great indignation was manifested among the people who had assembled, and an officer of the town was detailed to read the riot act and bid them disperse.

But those friends of the church in the early days were not men who were easily discouraged. Persevering in their purpose they gained access to the hall, and when Mr. Pease was about to open the meeting, an officer appeared at the door and ordered the people away under penalty of the law. Mr. Pease, holding the only candle in the hall, boldly replied, “We have not come here for any riot, but to serve the living God; let us pray.” The meeting then proceeded without further trouble, and proved productive of much good.

The town’s first Methodist Church building, now Temple Beth Torah, was erected on Main Street in 1824. The building, moved 26 feet onto a new stone foundation, was much enlarged and rebuilt in the Queen Anne style in 1882. The Wethersfield United Methodist Church erected a new church building, at 150 Prospect Street, in 1959. A 2005 addition serves as the church’s Family Life Center.

Ivy Glenn Memorial (1847)

Sunday, February 12th, 2017 Posted in Churches, Eastford, Greek Revival, Libraries, Public Buildings | No Comments »

In the center of Eastford is a Greek Revival building called the Ivy Glenn Memorial. It was built as a Methodist Church in 1847, the same year Eastford separated from Ashford to become a new town. In 1916, Eastford Methodists joined with Congregationalists to form a Federated Church and the former Methodist Church was sold to the town for $200. The building’s basement was repaired to serve as a place for town meetings. Restoration work was completed in 1934 with funds from the Civil Works Administration. The upstairs hall was now used for town meetings and the library and town offices were located in the basement. A new Town Hall was erected in 1969 and after town offices moved to the new building, the library was able to expand in the basement of the former church. This required a new renovation which was funded by a bequest in honor of Ivy Glenn made by her husband, Wilmer Glenn, a New York stockbroker who spent summers in the Phoenixville section of Eastford. The enlarged library opened in 1972. Another renovation was made after a fire in May 1979 damaged the front of the building.

The building is centrally located in the village of Eastford (179 Eastford Road), as described in Vol. I of A Modern History of Windham County, Connecticut (1920):

Eastford is one of those towns in the state where the center of population nearly coincides with the geographical center of the township. Miss Ellen Larned, in her valuable History of Windham County, tells us that “the first inhabitant was John Perry from Marlborough, Mass.; who bought 350 acres of land on both sides of Still River and settled upon it near the site of the present Eastford Village.” The grave of this rude forefather of the hamlet may be seen, if I am not mistaken, in the old grave-yard back of the Congregational Church. From the beginning the chief settlement has gathered around this original spot. The village is favorably located, with a healthful environment, a fine outlook, and excellent water power. There are six roads which unite at the village green in front of the Methodist Church; and now that the state road is constructed the facilities for travel are all that can be desired. A fresh hope for the place can be confidently indulged in. The old-time saying of one of its people is fast coming more true than ever before: “Eastford is the biggest place of its size on earth.”

Howard House – Methodist Parsonage (1790)

Monday, January 2nd, 2017 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Tolland | No Comments »

The house at 89 Tolland Green in Tolland was built c. 1790 by a member of the Howard family. Bishop Francis Asbury, who played a major part in the spread of Methodism in the United States, held a conference of Methodist ministers in the house in August 1793. As related in the Life and Labors of Francis Asbury, Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church in America (1896), by George G. Smith:

Methodism had come to New England to stay, and the Conference was to meet at Tolland. With a blister behind his ear for a sore throat and a poultice on his foot for rheumatism, he consented to rest a little while, but only for two days. He was again attacked by the rheumatism, and was not able to walk from his horse to the house, and had to be lifted down from the saddle and up again.

As Bishop Asbury noted in his own Journal:

Our conference sat at Tolland. Lame as I was, I went through the business; and notwithstanding I was tired out with labour, heat, and pain, and company, I must also preach; so I submitted; and endeavoured to apply 2 Tim. ii, 24-26.

As explained in the Souvenir History of the New England Southern Conference in Three Volumes (1897)

The preaching service was held in the partially finished chapel. Bishop Asbury was present and preached on II. Timothy ii: 24-26, “The servant of the Lord must not strive,” etc. The text was peculiarly apt for the people and the time, for Dr. Williams of the Congregational Church had recently bitterly attacked the Methodist Church usages and doctrines. Dr. Williams afterwards acknowledged his mistake, and invited Methodists to hold prayer meetings at his home.

In 1794 Bishop Asbury again stayed at the house, which later became a Methodist parsonage for a time.

Clinton AME Zion Church (1950)

Sunday, December 4th, 2016 Posted in Ansonia, Churches, Gothic | No Comments »

93-central-st-ame-zion-church

Clinton AME Zion Church in Ansonia was originally organized in Derby in 1874/1875. Early meetings were held in a hall over J. P. Swift’s Store, later Pucella’s Garage, at the corner of New Haven Avenue and Gilbert Street in Derby. The church affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in 1882 and adopted the name its pastor, Rev. J. J. Clinton, in 1888, incorporating as Clinton Memorial AME Zion Church. A new church building was erected on Derby Avenue, but the church later decided to relocate to Ansonia, which had a growing African American population. According to Ansonia assessor’s information, the new church, located at 96 Central Street, was built in 1950. The church had to be repaired after it was damaged in the flood of 1956 (see “$5,800 Spells Restored Hopes For Flood-Hit Ansonia Church,” Hartford Courant, February 4, 1956).

Willimantic Camp Meeting Association (1860-1948)

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016 Posted in Churches, Folk Victorian, Gothic, Houses, Organizations, Queen Anne, Stick Style, Windham | No Comments »

willimantic-camp-meeting-association

Camp meetings were a notable feature of religious life in nineteenth-century America and some continue in existence today. This site has already featured the Plainville Campground and Camp Bethel in Haddam. Another religious campground is the Willimantic Camp Meeting Association. It was established by Methodists who held the first meeting here on September 3, 1860. Today it is an interdenominational Evangelical Association. At its height the camp had 300 buildings, primarily cottages built by individual churches or families. A third of them were destroyed by the hurricane of 1938 and another hundred were lost to neglect over the ensuing decades. 100 cottages remain and constitute an architectural treasure. Read the rest of this entry »