The First church of Brooklyn had its beginnings among the people while as yet there was no organization either of society or town. The people inhabiting south of Mortlake and north of Canterbury were within the proper jurisdiction of the town of Pomfret, but remote some seven or eight miles from the meeting house at the center of the town. Some residents in the northern part of Canterbury were also remote from the meeting house of that town. With remarkable generosity the town of Pomfret consented to allow the people of this part of their jurisdiction to be clear of ministers’ rates in case of their procuring a minister among themselves. About the year 1730 they secured the services of Mr. William Blossom, who for some time preached to them in private houses in different parts, as convenience dictated. Mr. Blossom had not been approved or licensed by the Windham County Association of ministers and churches, and that body, after vainly summoning him to produce his credentials, pronounced him guilty of ” contempt of ecclesiastic authority,” and forbade his preaching or the people listening to him within the bounds of the association. This was done November 29th, 1730. But Mr. Blossom continued to preach and the people to listen to him, in spite of the decree. The association appealed to the assembly, and the people were divided in sentiment, a part of them rejecting Blossom and obtaining the services of another young man, one Mr. Newell, still without leave of assembly or association.
In the midst of this discord of sentiment, the society was chartered by the assembly in 1731. The society now employed Mr. Newell for a year, at sixty-two pounds salary and his board and a horse to ride. The society in October, 1732, was enlarged by the addition of the south half of Mortlake and inhabitants Joseph Holland and Joseph Davison. A house of worship was erected in 1734, and on November 21st of that year a church was organized, consisting of the following persons: John Woodward. James Cady, Richard Adams, Benjamin Fasset, William Williams, Joseph Holland, Henry Bacon, Joseph Davison and Jonathan Parks. Their number was soon increased by the wives of the constituent members, and by the addition of Joseph Leonard, Edward Spalding, Henry Smith, John Hubbard and their wives, and Joseph Adams, Jr., and Isaac Leonard. William Williams of Mortlake, and John Woodward of Canterbury, were elected deacons.
The church and society were quite unanimous in securing the services of Mr. Ephraim Avery of Truro, and a graduate of Harvard, to be their minister. He was duly installed September 24th, 1735. The meeting house was now more completely finished. Sundry improvements were from time to time made. In 1741 it was voted ” To put a window in the minister’s pew and plaster the gable ends of the meeting house.” From the frequency with which the meeting house windows were out of repair and had to be re-glazed, we are led to question the common supposition that all the villainous street boys belong to the present generation. The glass in the windows frequently required mending. About 1750 Israel Putnam and three others were allowed to build pews for themselves in place of certain “hindmost seats,” provided they would mend the glass in the meeting house windows. In 1752 the glass was again so badly out of repair that it was voted ” To board up the meeting house windows.”
Mr. Avery was also somewhat of a medical man, and in 1754, during an epidemic, he was so overcome with continued labors attending the sick, that he fell himself beneath the hand of the disease, and thus ended both his medical and his pastoral labors. Josiah Whitney, a native of Plainfield, graduate of Yale, was next called to the pastorate. He was ordained February 4th, 1756. A remarkable circumstance associated with this occasion was the fact that the day was so fine and warm that the audience, which `vas too large to be accommodated in the meeting house, assembled on the Green, in the open air, where the ceremonies were conducted, the ladies meanwhile using their fans as in a summer day. . Saybrook Platform was now adopted.
The church in Mortlake parish, known as the Second church of Pomfret, shared largely in the religious awakening, adding to its membership in 1741-2 one hundred L,nd six. This church was more inclined to independence and less rigid in discipline than most of its contemporaries. Among its members were Josiah, an elder brother of John and Ebenezer Cleveland; Constance, sister of Elisha and Solomon Paine, and other Canterbury residents, all in full sympathy with the revival and eager to exercise the privilege of laboring and exhorting. On lecture day, September 10th,. several brothers and sisters of the church went so far beyond their line as to break the peace and quiet of the church ” by publicly exhorting the congregation after the service. Samuel Wilson actually had the temerity to speak for some considerable time to the people on the common before the meeting house door, attempting “to teach them the wretched estate they were in, and that their help was in God, and exhorting them to come to him.” Ezekiel Spalding ” also spoke very loud for a little space byway of exhorting the people,” and Constance Paine “was heard to speak in a very loud, earnest and resolute manner.” Great clamor and confusion followed. Some denounced the speakers, some encouraged them. Disputing and jangling were heard on every side, even within the sacred walls of the meeting house. Tidings of the outbreak were speedily carried to Mr. Avery. He went out and rebuked the offenders, and as the ecclesiastic head of the parish, commanded them to forbear their irregular and improper exhorting, but met with public opposition and defamation while attempting to exert his official authority. One angry citizen even charged him with lying, and another declared, “That by his own words he showed that he did not know the Spirit of God.”
This affair aroused great excitement, both in church and society. On the following Sabbath, before administering the Sacrament, Mr. Avery publicly debarred these five offenders from the Lord’s table till the matter could be looked into, whereupon Josiah, Ebenezer and Lydia Cleveland and Ezekiel Bacon withdrew from the meeting house “in the face of the church.” A church meeting was promptly, called to consider the various offenses. The two brethren, who had been led by their sympathy with the exhorters to such unseemly defamation of their good pastor, were very willing to acknowledge that their conduct had been indecent and unchristian and publicly confess the same to the congregation. The exhorters themselves, Wilson, Spalding and Constance Paine, were treated with great consideration and forbearance, and ample time and opportunity given them to procure testimony and defend themselves. After carefully weighing all the evidence presented and discussing the question in all its bearings, it was decided, October 18th, “That the church looked upon what the aforesaid Wilson, Spalding and Constance Paine did, on September 10th, as public exhorting. That public speaking, warning and exhorting of lay persons is unwarrantable and ought to be discountenanced; but inasmuch as the church has not before declared its mind in this matter, and the persons that have done this that we look upon as unwarrantable might not intend to disturb the church, and also, since they seem to think they did their duty in it-it is adjudged, That we ought to be tender with them, and that it may be most for the interest of religion as circumstances are, to pass it over for this time without requiring satisfaction, and with desiring that they would forbear this practice for time to come, as they would not disturb the peace and quiet of the church, nor expose themselves nor the church to further trouble, begging that God would lead them and us into the ways of truth and peace.”
The tenderness of the church in forbearing to exact a public confession from the exhorting brethren was entirely thrown away upon their sympathizers so long as they were restricted in liberty of speech and exhortation, and in a few days they issued the subjoined spirited manifesto:
” POMFRET, Nov. 5, 1742.
“These are to inform you that your way of discipline and opinion declared in your last judgment against some of the subscribers, doth so fully evidence to us that you of the number that have the form of godliness and deny the power thereof, that we can in conscience hold communion no longer with you, and do thereof declare that we do dissent and withdraw from you, praying that the Lord would be our guide and direct us in such a weighty affair; also, humbly entreating the Lord for you all, that the Lord of his infinite free sovereign grace would open your eyes and lead both you and us into all truth. Rebecca Freeman, Ezekiel Spalding, Martha Spalding, Eunice Adams, John Fasset, Josiah Fasset, Benjamin Fasset, Elizabeth Fasset, Richard Adams, Ebenezer Cleveland, Samuel Wilson, Betty Wilson, Abigail Woodward, Hannah Jewell, Joseph Cady, Zachariah Whitney, Josiah Cleveland, Lydia Cleveland, Elias Sheavalier, Mary. Sheavalier, Joseph Adams, Elizabeth Adams, Joshua Paine, Constance Paine.”
The subsequent conduct of these dissenting members was in accordance with the spirit of this declaration. This company of offending members were called to account and admonished by the church, but without avail. Two or three confessed their errors, and were received again into the church. Richard Adams died during this year, “without giving any satisfaction.” After waiting more than another year for the return of the delinquents, the church reluctantly proceeded to consider the question of excommunication. Ezekiel Spalding and Joseph Adams ” appeared and pleaded, `That they ought not to be cut off from the church.”‘ Fourteen of the most obstinate, refusing to retract or ask for mercy, were publicly excommunicated, December 14th, 1746. Eleven others, after further trial persisting in separation, were formally admonished, April 13th, 1748, but none appeared in church to bear the admonition, and when it was carried to their houses, some refused to touch it and some ” threw it into the fire.” Most of these Separates united with the church at Canterbury. Ebenezer Cleveland and some of the more prominent seceders were finally taken back into church fellowship. The Separates in Mortlake parish were treated with unusual delicacy and forbearance, and as they failed to effect any new church organizations within its limits, their defection left no permanent breach, and scarcely impaired the strength and prosperity of the church.
A meeting house was erected in 1771, which stood a few rods southeast of the old meeting house, with ” its front foreside facing the road.” This building was pronounced a ” very genteel meeting house,” with its ample size, graceful proportions, convenient porch, handsome steeple, and all ” colored white.” Five seats, eleven feet long were ranged on either side of the broad alley, and the remainder of the floor was occupied by pews, each one being allowed to construct his own, though the pew space was reserved to the forty-three largest resident tax payers. By bequest of. Mr. Joseph Scarborough a bell was placed in the steeple –the second church bell in the county. A clock was also placed in the steeple. The progressive spirit of the people is also shown by their vote ” That an Eleclarick Rod may be set up at the new meeting house, provided it be done without cost to the society.” The ringing of the bell and taking care of the meeting house were matters that were entrusted only to responsible hands, and . the charge was rather a mark of honor. This new meeting house, with all its improved appointments, was to be placed in able hands, so the society conferred that honor upon its most honored public citizen by voting ” That Colonel Putnam take care of the new meeting house and ring the bell at three pounds a year.” When he went to the war his minister took his place as bell ringer. It was ordered “that the bell should be rung on Sabbaths, Fasts, Thanksgivings and lectures, as is customary in other places where they have bells, also at twelve at noon and nine at night.
In 1788 an appropriation of one hundred dollars was made for painting and repairs. Thirty dollars were allowed Mr. Whitney to supply himself with wood at a dollar a cord. In 1794 a singing master was employed and later considerable attention was given to recruiting the singing. The pastor, Mr. Whitney, received from Harvard College the title of Doctor of Divinity in 1802.
In consequence of the increasing years and infirmities of Doctor Whitney, Mr. Luther Wilson of New Braintree, was ordained colleague pastor of the Congregational church and society in 1813, which position he filled with fidelity and acceptance till it was found that he had embraced the Socinian or Unitarian views, then becoming so prevalent in Massachusetts. Although the Brooklyn church was but moderately Calvanistic in belief and very liberal in its practice, these views broached by Mr. Wilson fell so much below its standard as to awaken apprehension of disastrous results. But already a strong party sympathized with Mr. Wilson in his belief and desired his continuance. A majority of the “church favored Doctor Whitney and Captain Tyler; a society majority sympathized with Mr. Wilson and Esquire Parish. The Unitarian controversy was exciting very great interest and alarm all over the land, and the ministers of the county joyfully hastened to join in the fray. February 5th, 1817, the county consociation met at the house of Captain Tyler. Moses C. Welch, D.D., the great champion of orthodoxy, was chosen moderator. Mr. Wilson and the church minority obeyed the summons to appear before the consociation, but challenged its right of jurisdiction. The consociation, however, declared Mr. Wilson disqualified, and the pastoral relation dissolved.
The adherents of Mr. Wilson declined to accept these decisions, and as a majority of the society, proceeded to exercise control of the meeting house. At a society meeting, March 3d, 1816, it was voted that no persons except the ministers of the society, and those belonging to the Eastern Association, should be allowed to hold religious meeting in this house without a written permit from its committee. Mr. Wilson was requested to preach whenever Doctor Whitney did not occupy the pulpit. Much confusion and strife followed. The aged pastor went far beyond his strength in attempting to preach twice on every Sabbath to keep out the deposed colleague, and when at his special and earnest request Mr. Preston of Providence occupied the pulpit without obtaining the requisite order, the intruder was prosecuted by the society.
Mr. Wilson himself called a council in September to advise as to the action of consociation and the condition of things in general. The council decided to dismiss Mr. Wilson from his unpleasant position. But the breach grew wider and at last the society, which had become decidedly Unitarian in its sentiment. locked the doors of the meeting house against the congregation and church gathered to hear Doctor Whitney preach. A Unitarian minister from Massachusetts was placed in the pulpit and the society levied taxes for his support.
Thus driven from their elegant house of worship, the distressed church hired the unfinished attic of a dwelling house for a room in which to hold religious services, and called upon the County Association to supply them with preachers. Different ones preached to them for a time. March 3d, 1819, all hopes of reconciliation being abandoned, the church voted a final remon. strance to John Parish, John Williams and Deacon Roger W. Williams, and withdrew from them its watch and care. It continued its meetings in the upper chamber and now began to look for a permanent place of worship. In 1821 they were able to complete a chapel for this purpose, and different ministers aided Doctor Whitney in his pastoral labors. In the following summer a Sabbath school was organized, its first superintendent being Amos Prince, recently removed hither from Pomfret. In April, 1824, Ambrose Edson of Stafford was ordained and installed colleague pastor, on which pleasant occasion the use of the great meeting house was magnanimously tendered by the First society. Though in his ninety-fourth year, Doctor Whitney was still erect and vigorous, his eye not dimmed nor his natural force abated. With flowing wig and antique garb he was often seen upon the street, exchanging pleasant greetings and happy repartees with his dear friends and neighbors. His face beamed with animation and his playful sallies were tempered by Christian dignity. As he entered the house of God, the congregation were wont to rise and remain standing in respectful attitude until he was seated.
He died in 1824, thus closing an exceptionally long pastorate, covering about sixty-nine years, with this church. Mr. Edson now continued in sole pastoral charge of the church. His pastorate closed in 1830, and he was followed by George J. Tillotson of Farmington, who was ordained and installed May 25th, 1831. A revival soon followed and the membership was largely in creased. The larger congregations called for better accommodations and a larger church was built in 1832. The pastorate of Reverend George J. Tillotson extended to March 10th, 1858, when he was dismissed. He was followed by Edward Miles, as a stated supply from November, 1.858, to November, 1859. Reverend C. N. Seymour was installed December 21st, 1859, and remained until September, 1873. He was succeeded by Reverend Edwin S. Beard, who was installed December 30th, 1873, and retains the pastorate to the present time. The present church edifice was erected in 1832. A chapel near it was built about 1864. A parsonage has never been owned by. the society since the time. of Doctor Whitney. The parsonage which he owned is still standing on the south side of the Common and facing upon Main street. It is now occupied by Mr. Daniel B. Hatch of New York. The Sunday school in connection with it has about 100 pupils and teachers.
The Unitarian sentiment, as we have already seen, was developed in this town under the preaching of Reverend Luther Wilson, as colleague pastor with Doctor Whitney, between the years 1813 and 1816. The First Ecclesiastical society of Brooklyn adopted these sentiments and barred the doors of the meeting house against Doctor Whitney and his church. They then obtained a Unitarian minister from Massachusetts and asserted and exercised their right to use the house for the promulgation of Unitarian doctrines. They secured for their pastor Mr. Samuel J. May, a young man of vigorous intellect, good education and wide, philanthropic sympathies, who was ordained over them March 13th, 1822, The ministry of Mr. May was most acceptable and beneficial “to his own people and the community at large. Entering with his whole heart and soul into all the great questions of the day, he carried others with him. Through his efforts the Windham County Peace Society was organized. This society was organized August 16th, 1826, and had for its object the discouragement of the inhuman and unchristian practice of war. Its membership included ministers and some leading men of most of the towns of this county, and some from outside of the county. It had a good influence, and did much good in disseminating information and enlightening the public conscience. The temperance cause found in Mr. May an earnest, methodical, aggressive and untiring advocate. In the cause of public education he engaged with such zeal that many needed reforms were instituted, and his influence in this was felt throughout the state. Editing religious newspapers, establishing a village lyceum, lecturing and preaching in different localities throughout the county also claimed their share -of his enthusiasm and tireless labor. These incessant calls to varied fields of labor induced Mr. May to leave the pastorate of this society, which he did October 16th, 1836. His immediate successor was Reverend George W. Kilton, who began December 1st, 1836, and was followed in 1837 by Reverend William Coe, who remained about four years. Supplies followed for short periods. An alteration in the interior of the church building was made in 1845. A floor was laid at the level of the gallery, so as to make the building two stories. The upper room was rededicated for church uses May 1st, 1845, while the lower room was set apart as a town hall, in which use it still continues. Reverend Herman Snow began preaching here in November. 1844, and continued until December, 1846. Samuel May served one year in 1847. Jacob Ferris began a pastorate of about two years May 1st, 1848. Reverend George G. Channing, a brother of the celebrated William Ellery Channing, began preaching here on the first Sunday in May, 1850, and closed his term June 20th, 1852. Reverend C. Y. De Normandie began pastoral labor here July 11th, 1852, was ordained December 1st of the same year, and remained till September, 1856. He was succeeded by Reverend Henry Lewis Myrick, whose term began January 4th, 1857, continuing about two years. A year of temporary supplies followed. Reverend Mr. Channing returned and remained from November 11th, 1860, to November 24th, 1861. Lay services filled up the space from that date till April 16th, 1862, when Reverend Mr. Channing returned again and remained till November 9th of the same year. Reverend Thomas T. Stone, D.D., served the church from March, 1863, to August, 1871. Mrs. Celia Burleigh began preaching in August, 1871, and was ordained October 5th of the same year. She continued nominally pastor until her death, July 25th, 1875, though she had assistance in pastoral labors on account of ill health for some time. Mrs. Caroline R. James began preaching in October, 1877, and was ordained October 9th, 1878. She resigned November 6th, 1881. Temporary supplies now filled the pulpit until the coming of Reverend A. J. Culp to the church in June, 1885. His pastorate closed January 1st, 1889. His successor, Reverend Silas W. Sutton, began his labors here April 20th, 1889. He lives in the house which was built for Reverend Mr. May as a parsonage, but afterward sold to private parties and now rented. A parsonage was built by the society, which still retains the name of the First Ecclesiastical society of Brooklyn, about 1853, but this was afterward sold. The present membership of the church is about twenty-five.
The Episcopal church of Brooklyn had its beginnings in the efforts of Colonel Godfrey Malbone to avoid paying taxes toward the erection of a church about the year 1769. Colonel Malbone, previous to this had, without protest, paid taxes on his large estate here toward the support of the town church, but when a new meeting house was talked of, to be erected at great expense, he determined to exercise his own inclinations, which were naturally toward the church of England. He enlisted the interest of his friends in the work, and a subscription paper was circulated, to which the names of nineteen heads of families were obtained, agreeing to become members of an Episcopal church as soon as meeting house and missionary should be provided. Through Malbone’s influence help was obtained from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, an eligible site was obtained on the Adams tract, south of Malbone’s land, given by Azariah Adams, and arrangements were immediately made for the erection of a building. In April, 1770, the following persons petitioned to be liberated from paying taxes to the town church on the ground that they were interested and contributing toward the Episcopal church: Godfrey Malbone, Joseph Hubbard, Jerre Cleveland, Timothy Lowe, Jedidiah Ashcraft, Sr., Ahaziah Adams, Jacob Staple, Daniel McCloud, Caleb Spalding, Benjamin Jewett, John Allyn, John Wheeler, Leonard Cady, Noah Adams, Henry Cady, Thomas Adams, Isaac Adams, Samuel Adams, Elisha Adams, James Darbe, Jr., Jonathan Wheeler, Jacob Greer, William Walton, Jonas Cleveland, Jabez Allyn, Nehemiah Adams, Benjamin Cady, John Ashcraft, Seth Sabin and James Eldridge. The assembly granted the desired relief to Malbone, as a well-known churchman, but refused it to his associates on the ground of insufficient evidence of their sincerity.
Church building, however, went forward, and by April 1st. 1771, the new building was ready for use. This was a neat, unpretentious edifice, in its interior arrangements closely following the model of Trinity church in Newport. In the mean time Malbone frequently himself took the character of the priestly office and drilled his proselytes in the church ritual, of which he declared, ” they were ignorant as so many of the Iroquois.” The novelty of the service attracted many hearers. The Reverend John Tyler, church missionary at Norwich, preached in Ashcraft’s house in February, and officiated at the public opening of the new building in April. The latter event was one of importance historically, as it was the first formal dedication service performed in Windham county. Reverend Samuel Peters, church missionary at Hebron, assisted in the ceremonies. In September, 1771, Mr. Richard Mosely, of Boston, who had been chaplain in the British naval service, began conducting services and preaching here, meanwhile preaching and lecturing at times in Plainfield and Canterbury. He continued in the field until the following April.. He was succeeded in May, 1772, by Reverend Daniel Fogg, a sober, quiet, discreet and devout man, who was received upon the recommendation of clergymen in Boston. About twenty-five families were enrolled as his parishioners. His salary, thirty pounds a year from the English society, and thirty pounds from this church, amounted to sixty pounds a year.
The Episcopal worship fell into disfavor after the breaking out of the war. All good patriots fell away and only avowed royalists remained in the church connection. Prayers for the king and royal family were no longer in order, and as Mr. Fogg thought it inconsistent with his ordination vows to omit them, public service was suspended. Trinity church was closed and its congregation scattered. Mr. Fogg remained quietly at his post of duty, ministering to his few faithful followers, and conducting himself “in so quiet and peaceable a manner,” as to retain the confidence and respect of the community.
After the war the church also lost its chief supporter, by the death of Colonel Malbone. Doctor Walton, another zealous advocate of royalty and the church of England, had also removed. The missionary society also withdrew its aid. In this condition the prospect was extremely discouraging, but Mr. Fogg held bravely on and strove to strengthen the things. that remained. Thirty acres of land which Colonel Malbone had intended for a glebe were-confirmed to the parish by his brother, John Malbone, in 1787. Other able adherents of the church who came to the neighborhood about this time were Captain Evan Malbone and Doctor John Fuller. The faithful rector, Reverend Daniel Fogg, died in 1815, after forty-three years’ service for this church. The church at that time numbered thirty-one communicants. After three years of irregular worship, Reverend George S. White accepted the pastoral charge, remaining two years. During this time a parsonage was begun.
Trinity church, after a long period of irregular service, which followed the pastorate of Mr. White, entered upon a new lease of life in 1828, Reverend Ezra B. Kellogg being at that time inducted into the rectorate. Glebe and parsonage were now redeemed to the use of the parish, and the church edifice was repaired and remodelled. When the Reverend Josiah M. Bartlett succeeded Mr. Kellogg in 1835, the parish was self-supporting, with thirty-one families and forty-five communicants. Colonel Daniel Putnam, whose wife was a niece of Godfrey Malbone, and who had been senior warden and one of the staunchest friends of the church, died in 1831. This great loss was in some degree made up by gradually increasing numbers and a higher tone in church life and public worship. Reverend Riverius Camp entered upon the rectorship in 1S37. After a long term in the ministerial office here, he died in 1875. During this time an elegant new church was erected. This was completed in 1866. The hundredth birthday of the society was appropriately celebrated in the “old Malbone church,” April 12th, 1871. A special fund given by the late George Brinley, of Hartford, provides for the continued preservation of this memorial edifice and its hallowed graveyard. Reverend S. F. Jarvis became pastor of Trinity church in 1874, and remains at the present time. A handsome rectory was built in 1587.
The Baptist church of Brooklyn was constituted April 23d, 1828. Its first members were: Denison Cady, Elisha Adams, Philemon Adams, Nathan Williams, Eleazer Mather, Alfred Ashcraft, Edwin Cady, Gideon Arnold, David C. Bolles, Lathrop Cushman, John Searls, Hannah Cady, Fanny Mather, Sarah Adams, Deborah Adams, Priscilla Arnold, Catherine Ashcraft, Ann Ashcraft, Lydia Cady, Mary Adams, Almira Pidge, Mary Darbe, Olive Arnold, Miranda Adams, Flora Adams, Fanny Bolles, Eliza Cady, Emily Cady, Wealthy Tarbox, Elizabeth Searls, Catherine Cushman, Betsy Adams, Sally Ann Adams, Mary Cady, Lucy Wilcox. The first deacons were Denison Cady and Elisha Adams. The first clerk was David C. Bolles. The church was organized under the leadership of Reverend William Bently. David Bolles was ordained September 30th, ].830. Thomas Huntington was ordained September 30th, 1534. Benjamin Brown was chosen deacon in 1840, and still continues in that office. From about 1830 to 1840 the church was in a low state, and for some time no meetings were held. Reverend Augustus Bolles preached during the summer of 1847. Reverend Sylvester Barrows commenced preaching here May 30th, 1852, and continued through a remarkably long pastorate, closing about the last of March, 1869. Reverend Thomas Terry, of Quidnick, succeeded to the pastorate, May 2d, 1869, and served the church till February 26th, 1882. Reverend O. P. Bessey began May 1st, 1882, and continued till November 9th, 1884. His successor was Reverend William Gussman, who entered the pastorate here February 1st, 1885, and left it at the last end of 1886. Reverend Edwin Bennett, the present pastor, was ordained here February 8th, 1888. The first house of worship owned by this church was the old chapel of the Congregational church, which they gave up for their new meeting house in 1832. This church bought it then and used it nearly forty years, enlarging it in the meantime as occasion required. The present handsome brick church, standing on the south side of the common, was built in 1871, and dedicated May 8th, 1872. A parsonage was bought of Arthur Bill, of Danielsonville, adjoining the court house a short time since. The cost of the brick church, including the lot and furniture, was $10,954.64. The present membership of the church is about 130. During the present pastorate forty-eight have been added. The Sunday school at its last report numbered 121.
Source: History of Windham County, Connecticut, Bayles, Richard M.; New York: W.W. Preston, 1889