The third home of the First Parish Congregational Church, circa 1890


The third home of the First Parish Congregational Church, circa 1890


[Wakefield, Mass.] : Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light Department,




Photo courtesy of the Wakefield Historical Society.

"The history of the First Parish Congregational Church is woven into the history of the Town of Wakefield. The first house of worship was erected by the citizens of Reading on the westerly side of Main Street near Albion Street. In 1689, a more 'attractive and commodious meeting house' was erected near the present church. This structure sufficed until a third more spacious edifice was built in 1768. This third structure faced west when built and had a tall spire which was blown down in the 'great gale' of 1815. The interior of the structure was completely remodeled in 1838 and again in 1859 when the structure was considered to be 'too small and inconvenient for the growing needs of society.' The building was turned around to face the south the old steeple was taken down and a new and graceful spire erected 'commodious' apartments were provided and furnished for evening meetings, Sunday school, ladies' parlor and kitchen and the interior was greatly changed and modernized. As time went on, the sanctuary was considered too small and its accommodations too limited. A look into remodeling revealed 'conditions of weakness and decay from turret to foundation.' It became evident that extensive and costly repairs would be necessary to make the church suitable, safe and modern. On December 29, 1887, the church members took preliminary steps to erect a new church upon the site of the old one, the entire cost of which was to be defrayed by voluntary subscriptions. It was necessary to obtain additional land which was subsequently secured from the old burial-yard and the open land lying northerly of Church Street by unanimous vote of the town of Wakefield. At the same time, the parish released to the town its rights to adjoining land and received permission from county and municipal officials to widen Church Street in front of the church. Impressive farewell services were held in the sanctuary on May 24, 1890 and the third structure was demolished soon after. The cornerstone for the fourth structure was laid


Church buildings -- Massachusetts -- Wakefield -- Pictorial works.

Wakefield (Mass.) -- Church history -- Pictorial works; Wakefield (Mass.) -- History -- Pictorial works.

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Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light Department calendars

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Citation :

"The third home of the First Parish Congregational Church, circa 1890," in NOBLE Digital Heritage, Item #12044, (accessed August 19, 2017).