History

 

Some Highlights of St. Thomas’ History

 

1835 – Rev. Liberty Barrows, a missionary from Sherburne, arrives with 50 prayer books and holds the first Episcopal service in Hamilton.

 

September 21, 1835 – St. Thomas’ is incorporated.

 

1838 – Rev. Johnson A. Brayton is installed as St. Thomas’ first rector.

 

1841 – The Ladies Sewing Society begins to raise funds to build a church. Four women of the group travel by horse and buggy to churches as far away as Elmira, seeking contributions. 

 

ca. 1845 – Renowned architect Richard Upjohn supplies the plans for St. Thomas’ without charge.  

 

1846 – A lot on Madison Street is purchased for $576, and a contract is signed for W.S. Mayhew of Waterville to construct the church at a cost of $1,050.

 

1847 – The church building is completed. Consecration by Bishop DeLancey of the Diocese takes place on June 8, 1847.  Throughout the years, the members of St. Thomas’ have cared for – and periodically restored – our historic Gothic Revival church.

 

1851 – With the fund-raising efforts of the Ladies’ Society, the church acquires the property next door -- a house built ca. 1825 -- for use as a rectory.

 

1853 – The church is enlarged to include the bell tower and transepts. New stained glass windows are added, and a 1,000-pound bell is installed in the tower.

 

1853 – The Parish Schoolhouse is built behind the church and rectory.

 

ca. 1870 – New stained-glass  windows are dedicated in memory of Charlotte E. Birge and Elsie B. Nye, two of the women who were instrumental in establishing our church in the 1840s.

 

1931-1988 – The Norwegian Tea and Sale, an annual tradition, is held in the Parish Hall.

 

1935 – St. Thomas’ celebrates its Centennial.

 

1950s – The Parish Hall serves as an early home of the Hamilton Co-operative Nursery School. 

 

1954 – The Parish Hall is rebuilt following a fire. The present Parish Hall includes classrooms, offices, and a large meeting hall and kitchen.

 

1977-1989 – The Parish Hall is home to Chenango Nursery School. 

 

1983-1988 – St. Thomas’ is involved in resettlement of Polish refugees in Hamilton.

 

1992-2011 – Parishioners tutor at Camp Georgetown, a state correctional facility. The church also provides an annual Christmas dinner with homemade pies. These ministries continue until Camp Georgetown closes.

 

1992-present – Friendship Inn provides free weekly suppers in the Parish House. Begun by St. Thomas’, Friendship Inn is an interfaith project.

 

2000 – The church, which had been painted white for many years, is painted a more historically accurate brown color. 

 

2010 – A memorial garden is established on the south side of the church.

St. Thomas' Church in 1937

Norwegian Tea, 1987

The most recent stained-glass window was added in 2015.

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