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, 1937

St. Thomas' Church in 1937

Norwegian Tea, 1987

Norwegian Tea, 1987

2022 Winter..jpg

Memorial Garden added in 2010.

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