pasture on the northerly and easterly sides of this Christ Church property. Christ Church was the first building of which there is any available record, ever erected on this land. In Colonial days, this site was part of the swamp, "Hassoky Marsh," that lay between the Town Brook and Chestnut Street, and extended as far north as Carew Street. In Dr. Lee's time, there were still signs of the corduroy road, 2 rods wide, that, alone, in early days, made that part of State Street passable.
         That the Episcopal church was an exotic, that it still needed a little explaining, is evidenced by part of the address of Bishop Griswold to the General Convention in 1839. He said: "The cornerstone of a new house, which they (Springfield) are now erecting was recently laid by the Rev. Dr. Strong, assisted by others of our brethren, and we trust that through God's blessing the people of that large and growing town will henceforth be favored in the ministration of the Protestant Episcopal church. For though many pious and. good Christians may dislike our ministrations; in almost every large population there is a considerable number who, on becoming acquainted with our ecclesiastical system, decidedly prefer it and find it most edifying. And where there are likely to be found in any place members of such, sufficient to form a respectable parish, it is our duty to aid them." Mr. Lee tells us that it was in great measure due to Dr. Strong's influence that the "prejudices existing in the community against the church were materially lessened, and the attachment of the friends of the church to its doctrines and services were confirmed and increased."
         The following description of the old Church building was derived from photographs, and from the memories of the older Parishioners, who loved and worked in this,—Springfield's first Episcopal Church.
         The architect, Mr. Chauncey Shepherd, like others of his day, was influenced by those London parochial churches, built by the great English architect, Sir Christopher Wren. Like them, it was a long, box-like building, with a chancel at one end, and a portico and square, turreted cupola on the other.


These pages are © Laurel O'Donnell, 1999 - 2005, all rights reserved
Copying these pages without written permission for the purpose of republishing
in any format or posting to mailing lists is strictly forbidden
This page was last updated on 27 Jul 2005