LOST MANSFIELD # 21: THE NORTH MANSFIELD MEETINGHOUSE.
In 1737, the General Assembly authorized formation of the Second Ecclesiastical Society in North Mansfield. Its parent church was the First Congregational Church in Mansfield Center.
The first meeting house in North Mansfield was built in 1745-6. It was located approximately where the present (fourth) church building now stands. When the first building was outgrown, a second meeting house was constructed in 1793. It had a capacity of 700 and a steeple that rose 60 feet high.
With construction of a town hall on Spring Hill in 1843, both ecclesiastical societies voted that no more town meetings could be held in their meetinghouses. No longer needing a building that seated up to 700, North Society members debated whether to repair their old meetinghouse, build a new church on the same site, or move to a different location. In May of 1847 the decision was finally made to build a new church on the same site.
That summer, the building committee watched with interest as local builder-architect Edwin Fitch and his crew constructed the new church in neighboring North Coventry. They soon engaged Fitch to build a similar church on their site. Demolition of the old meetinghouse began in December and the new church was dedicated on October 25, 1848. The new church had a capacity of 300 and featured a bell tower rather than a steeple. It was built facing onto Storrs Road (Route 195).
In 1926, the church that Edwin Fitch designed and built was demolished to make way for the construction of the current Storrs Congregational Church. The new and much larger church was re-oriented to face onto North Eagleville Road. The opening service in the new church was held on November 20, 1927.
This series is made possible by a Capacity Building Grant from The Last Green Valley, Inc.