The Baptist Church that once stood in Essex, NY, was destroyed by a fire in 1943 and its steeple is now missing from its place in the town’s skyline.
The Baptist Church in Essex village was organized in 1838 and the building completed in 1842. (Belden Noble Memorial Library. Essex, New York: Lake Champlain’s Historic Harbor. 1969. 27)
Prior to the formation of this church in town, members of the Baptist congregation conducted services at a church in Brookfield or in a log cabin and later a barn until the Essex church was built (Essex, New York: Lake Champlain’s Historic Harbor 27).
This brick church had prominent front Doric columns on each side of the doorway and a New England style steeple (Images of America: Essex on Lake Champlain 73).
Services ceased at this church in 1924 when the Baptists joined with the Presbyterians and Methodists to form the Essex Community Church.
The Iroquois Lodge of Masons had been occupying the former Methodist Episcopal Church, but they bought this church in 1931 and used it until the fire incinerated it just over a decade later. A stone step on the south side of Church Street is the only remnant of the church to show where it once stood (Essex, New York: Lake Champlain’s Historic Harbor 27).
The Goff house next door was the former parsonage of this church.
A Postcard Puzzle
We recently posted a historical postcard on the Essex on Lake Champlain Facebook page and asked viewers to guess which church that was visible in the image no longer stood today (hint: it was this church!). We had three winners. See their comments below:
Barbara Kunzi: That would be the Baptist church, formerly located on the empty lot on Beggs Road next to Norma’s.
Alex Comeau: Just a guess, but is it the second building from the left with what looks like a copula and just the right side of the roof/building showing? I think that was the one on Church St. where there is now only a vacant lot and an iron fence.
Peter Cross: I believe it was the Baptist Church.
Can you spot the church in the image below? And if so did you know it was the former Essex Baptist Church? Well, you know now!
Belden Noble Memorial Library. Essex, New York: An Early History. Burlington, VT: Queen City Printers, 2003. Print.
Belden Noble Memorial Library. Essex, New York: Lake Champlain’s Historic Harbor. 1969. Print.
Hislop, David C., Jr. Essex on Lake Champlain. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Pub., 2009. Print. Images of America.
“Historic Essex.” Historic Essex. Essex Community Heritage Organization. Web. 26 Feb. 2013. <http://www.essexny.org/>.
Smith, H. P. History of Essex County: With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers. Syracuse, N. Y.: D. Mason &, 1885. Print.