Historic Marble Dale Church Celebrates 250th Anniversary

Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church of Marble Dale, a village in the township of Washington located in the Litchfield Hills will launch the celebration of its 250th year on January 12, 2014, at 9:30 a.m.,with a period service based on the 1764 liturgy and congregants attired in vintage dress.

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The Episcopal Church in Connecticut began with the conversion of The Reverend Solomon Palmer, pastor of the Congregational Church in Cornwall. He founded a church in 1760, and the first St. Andrew’s was built in 1765. A second church building, located adjacent to the Northville Cemetery, was used from 1793 until the present church in Marble Dale was built in 1822. This landmark brick church, at the blinking light on Route 202 in Marble Dale, is one of the earliest Gothic Revival structures in New England.

The church was built with local materials, chestnut timbers from Aspetuck sawmills, marble quarried from a nearby stone mill, and brick fired in an area kiln.

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Nathaniel Wheaton, grandson of Joseph Wheaton and the founder of St. Andrews, was ordained and became the first President of Trinity College. He retired to Marble Dale where he purchased and occupied the present Rectory on Wheaton Road. He directed the addition of the Church’s transept and chancel in the 1850’s. The original Nave windows, parts of which were saved, were replaced with stained glass windows made by Tiffany in 1880.

Smaller changes were made to the building in the 1960’s, and a complete restoration was done in 1994 and 1995. StAndrew’s is now the second oldest church building in the Town of Washington and is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings.

In addition to its rich architectural history, St. Andrew’s has played a pivotal role in the communities of both Marble Dale and Washington since Colonial times.

The January 12 service will give the community a rich view of life in Colonial Marble Dale, including the plain homespun clothing of the tradespeople and farmers and the richer dress of more prosperous residents. Everyone is welcome to attend the January 12 service, along with other period services and special events that will be held throughout 2014.

St. Andrew’s is located at 247 Litchfield Road, Route 202, Marble Dale, across from The White Horse Pub. There is plenty of parking on Wheaton Road. Call 860-868-2275 or visit www.saintandrewsmarbledale.org for more information.

For area information on Litchfield Hills www.visitlitchfieldhills.com

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