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Mass. First church of Christ Springfield.

The First church, Springfield, 1637-1915; milestones through twenty-seven decades .. online

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The third organ (the present one) was rebuilt from
the old one in 1914 by the Ernest M. Skinner Co. of
Boston, and cost $12,000. It has 4 keyboards and
pedals, detached console, 53 stops, 21 adjustable com-
binations, and other mechanical accessories. The
action is electro-pneumatic. The rich black walnut
case is the same which graced the old organ and the
best of the pipes were kept. It was dedicated by a
concert given by Gaston Dethier of New York City,
with Miss Anna M. Wollmann as soprano soloist.

SOME FIRST CHURCH ANTIQUITIES

The First Church Rooster was brought from
England over 150 years ago together with two others,
one on the Old South Church in Boston and the
other on the First Church in Newburyport. Tra-
dition says that he had already glistened on a spire in
England and was a gift of a sea captain to the colony.
He measures four feet from tail to beak and weighs
49 pounds. A few papers and records are stored with
him for safe keeping. Poised on a glass cap, working
smoothly over a metal pivot, he always tells the truth
concerning the direction of the wind.

27



THE FIRST CHURCH, SPRINGFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS

The cock used as a weather vane on church buildings
is a symbol of vigilance — the bird is the harbinger of
the approach of day. In connection with the story of
Peter, he may be a sign of the need of repentance.

"How dear to our hearts is the old First Church rooster,
When near or when far he's presented to view:
For years he has stood there with never a murmur
And never a whisper of tales that he knew:
How much he has seen from the top of the steeple.
So true to his post as the seer of the church:
The bright shining rooster, the patient old rooster,
The dear faithful rooster that ne'er leaves his perch."

The First Communion Service was of pewter,
and was used from 1742 to 1789 when it was presented
to the First Church in Ludlow. It is now^ in the His-
torical room in Hubbard Memorial Library, Ludlow.

The Second Communion Service was of silver;
two tankards and two cups were the gift of Josiah'
Dwight, Esq., two cups were given by Edward Pynchon,
Esq., and four by Hon. John Worthington. The
rest of the set was probably purchased by the church,
in whose possession it is still retained.

The Third Communion Service (the individual
one now in use) was presented by Mrs. Joseph L.
Shipley, widow of a beloved deacon of the church,
in 1896.

The Communion Table which is of mahogany, was
brought from Boston about 18 18.

29



THE FIRST CHURCH, SPRINGFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS

The "Osgood Chairs" behind the communion table
are thought to have been purchased about 1818.

The Tower Clock was installed in 1826, by G. H.
Holbrook of Medway, Mass. The works still remain
in the tower, and the gilded pointers and pendulum
adorn the walls of the sexton's room.

The Church Clock hangs on the gallery facing the
pulpit and bears the inscription: "A bequest to the
First Church by Edward Pynchon, Esq., 1850."

The Clock in the Sunday School Room was given
by Dr. David Smith and Eunice Brewer Smith in
memory of their son George T. Smith, in 1874.

The Church Bell was purchased of G. H. Holbrook
of Medway, Mass., shortly after 18 19.

The Old Pulpit Bible, now in the possession of the
Connecticut Valley Historical Society, was the gift of
John Worthington, in 1776.

The beautiful Collection Plates in use were pur-
chased upwards of thirty years ago by the church at
Paine's in Boston, at a cost of ^80 (^10 each). They
took the place of bags on the end of rods.

Of the four Pianos in the Chapel, the two in the
parlors were memorial gifts. One was presented by
Mr. and Mrs. James L. Johnson to the kindergarten
department in memory of Helen Chamberlin Johnson
and Essie May Ewer; the other was the gift of Mrs.
M. A. Clyde in memory of her daughter, Carrie Minnie
Clyde.

30



THE FIRST CHURCH, SPRINGFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS

MILESTONES
{Church and Town History)

1636 Springfield settled.

1637 First Congregational Church organized.
1637 First minister called.

1 64 1 Springfield incorporated as a town.

1645 First meeting house built.

1650 William Pynchon's book burned.

1652 William Pynchon returned to England.

1675 Town burned by the Indians.

1677 Second meetinghouse built.

1679 First schoolhouse built on Ferry Lane (Cypress

Street).

1696 West Springfield Church organized (first offshoot of

the main church).

1735 Famous Breck controversy.

1752 Third church building completed.

1775 Washington's first visit to Springfield.

1782 First newspaper in Springfield published — Massachu-

setts Gazette.

1783 Stage line established between Hartford and Spring-

field.
1787 Shays' rebellion.
1805 First bridge built over the Connecticut.

1818 Sunday School organized.

1819 Fourth (present) church building erected.
1819 Court Square opened.

1822 Standing committee instituted.
1824 Springfield Republican founded.
1826 Four missionaries ordained in the church.
1841 Peabody Cemetery opened: use of burying ground
back of church given up.

31



THE FIRST CHURCH, SPRINGFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS

1848 John Quincy Adams's body lay in state in the church.

185 1 Grand concert in the church by Jenny Lind.

1852 Springfield became a city.

1880 Twelfth annual meeting of the Woman's Board of the
A. B. C. F. M. in First Church.

1885 Y. P. S. C. E. organized.

1886 Celebration of 250th anniversary of the settlement of

Springfield.

1887 Meeting of A. B. C. F. M. in First Church.

1898 Thirtieth annual meeting of Woman's Board of the
A. B. C. F. M. in First Church.

1910 Dr. McPherson installed.

191 1 Celebration of 275th anniversary of founding of

Springfield.
1913 Forty-fifth annual meeting of the Woman's Board
of the A. B. C. F. M. in First Church.



"Let the children guard what the sires have won.'



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Online LibraryMass. First church of Christ SpringfieldThe First church, Springfield, 1637-1915; milestones through twenty-seven decades .. → online text (page 2 of 2)