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History of the Second Congregational Church of North Adams NY

History of the Second Congregational Church of North Adams NY

The Second Congregational Church of Adams was formed at the house of Roger Read, by Rev. D. Spear, November 1, 1809, and consisted of Timothy Betts and wife, Simon Reed and wife, John Patrick, Elizabeth Miller, Esther Price, John Barnard and wife, Ebenezer Foot and wife, Lydia Read, and Sally Lyon. Meetings were held in school-houses for several years without having a settled pastor.

On December 5, 1816, a society was formed at the house of Asher Robbins, having the same name as the church, of which John Barnard, Asher Robbins, and Ruel Pearsons were trustees. January 28, 1817, Simon Read, Daniel Hall, Jr., and Amos Bosworth were added to the trustees. In the latter part of this year the society numbered more than seventy members, and steps were taken to erect a church. In 1818 a frame house 30 by 40 was built at John Grave’s; and on November 11 of that year their first pastor, Edward W. Rossiter, was installed. The church now entered upon a career of prosperity, in which its membership was increased to several hundred. In August, 1823, a number of the members residing at Smithville withdrew and formed a society of their own. This separation, instead of proving beneficial, proved fatal to both of them. The North Adams society continued to worship at the old place until 1839, when the church was moved a mile east, to its present locality. A new society was also formed, styled the “North Adams Congregational Society,” and Heman Colton, Elisha Read, and Ephraim Read elected trustees. For several years the church flourished; then came a period of declining interest, which, together with other causes, decreased the membership of the church to such an extent that services were suspended in 1856, and have never been resumed.

The last official meeting was held September 3, 1855, at which time Asahel Read, Elisha Read, and James Graham were elected trustees. It was decided to put the church in charge of a committee, which should be responsible for its safe-keeping. The house lately became the property of Caroline Rice, who has donated it to the public for school purposes. Rev. Rossiter was followed as pastor by Abel L. Crandall, D. Spear, Austin Putnam, P. Cook, Lewis M. Shepland, and Henry Budge. The most of these preached alternately here and at Smithville. The last pastoral report of which there is any record was made June 18, 1850, from which it appears that the church then had 14 male and 22 female members. A Sunday-school was conducted several years by Heman Colton, and a membership of 20 was reported.

The cemetery opposite the church, containing half an acre of ground, neatly enclosed, and also the one near Rice’s, are controlled by such of the public as live in the immediate localities.

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