First Congregational Church of Hadley - Hadley, MA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Marine Biologist
Assisted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Biologist Marine
N 42° 20.512 W 072° 35.323
18T E 698629 N 4690550
Quick Description: The First Congregational Church of Hadley was constructed in 1808 and relocated to its current location in 1841-1842. It is the third meeting house built for the congregation and is a contributing structure in the Hadley Center Historic District.
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Date Posted: 12/31/2014 6:44:38 PM
Waymark Code: WMN5V2
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Weathervane
Views: 3
Created From:
 First Congregational Church of Hadley - Hadley, MA - posted by Biologist Marine

Long Description:
"The present house of worship in Hadley dates from 1808 and was erected near the site of the second meeting house. The only part of the second church used in the new building was the weathercock, which was regilded and mounted in its place. The architect of the third house is unknown. The steeple was patterned after that of the North Church, Boston, on which the lantern was hung out for Paul Revere, when about to take his famous ride to Lexington "through every Middlesex village and farm."

The chairman of the building committee was once a lawyer in Boston and the contractor was a Boston man. The influence of Sir Christopher Wren is seen in the tower of the church.

The writer of this sketch does not deem it necessary in the treatment of his theme to give an account of the difficulties and differences, which resulted in the moving of the meeting house from its ancient site to the present situation on Middle street and the building of a second house of worship by the occupants of West street. The bitter contention, described by one writer as "The Feud of the Streets," has subsided, and more than a score of years ago the meeting house on West street ceased to be used for religious purposes and most of the attendants joined forces with the church on Middle street.

Let it suffice to say that the meeting house began quite a long journey in the fall of 1841. It was not until some time in January of the next year that it was set upon its present site on Middle street. Extension alterations were made at this time, again a Boston contractor having been engaged. Dr. F.H. Smith, in a paper read at the one hundredth anniversary of the building of the third meeting house, says: "After having been placed on this spot where it now is the house suffered a complete remodeling. Gallery, pews, and pulpit were taken out. Five years later the lower story was divided into two rooms by a partition. In 1868 and 1869 very extensive improvements were made upon the building. The steeple was newly timbered and a new bell deck constructed. I do not know whether the ceiling was in its present vaulted position in the original building of one hundred years ago or not. A cornice across the eastern end of the interior and the recess behind the pulpit were removed at the time of remodeling in 1868 and 1869, and a new platform and pulpit were built." In 1902, during the pastorate of Rev. Edward E. Keedy, a handsome pipe organ was installed in the church.

The Hadley meeting house is a veritable masterpiece of Colonial architecture. The beautifully apportioned spire with its three tastefully ornamented architectural forms, each a little varied from the others, the delicately wrought hand-carving about the cornice, and "the quaint but graceful windows lighting the lower and upper vestibules," give to the structure the most dignified appearance."

-- The preceding information about this church is from pages 59 and 60 of the publication titled Some Old Time Meeting Houses of the Connecticut Valley by Charles Albert Wight.

Close-up of Plaque on Building:

The 1808 First Congregational Church of Hadley is a contributing structure in the Hadley Center Historic District, a historic district on Middle and Russell Streets in Hadley, Massachusetts, that was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. The historic district features mid-19th Century Revivals, Early Republic, and Colonial Revival architectural styles.

Reformed or Congregational Denomination: United Church of Christ

Associated Website: [Web Link]

Status: Active House of Worship

102 Middle Street
Hadley, MA USA

Date of Construction or Event Occurrence: 1/1/1808

Architect: Not listed

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