First Congregational Church

First Congregational Church

The picture of a proud Irish Mary Collins Stanley with her three boys Bill, Jim and Chick, taken over 100 years ago.

Located on 81 East Town Street

This Church is the fifth meeting house erected in Norwich. The first meeting house, built around 1660, stood near the southeast corner of the Green. The second meeting house, erected in 1675, was on the summit of Meeting House Rocks and served as a lookout against Indian raids during King Philip’s War. The third meeting house was built on the hill near the site of the old one and completed in 1713.

The fourth Church was built at the corner of the Green, completed in 1770 and consumed to ashes in 1801 by a fire of incendiary origin. The cornerstone of the present Church, the fifth, was laid on June 18, 1801, by General Ebenezer Huntington.

The existing building is representative of the period when the huge, barn-like structures of the 18th century were becoming more ornate. This is evidenced by the square two-story tower and projecting portico which repeats the rather flat lines of the roof and the corner quoins of the main building. The structure was extensively remodeled in 1845 and in later years.

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