South Hadley, Massachusetts. Congregational Church of South Hadley Falls. Records, 1824-2012.
This rural community's First Church was established in 1733. In 1824 the population removed from the center of South Hadley felt they needed a more conveniently located church, which they called South Society in South Hadley.
The church experienced a split that lasted for 18 years before being reunited. In 1860, Rev. Richard Knight and the membership that supported him established a separate church. After Knight resigned his post in 1878, many returned to the original church and new leadership chose representatives from both groups to serve as the church's trustees.
There have been a few fires in the church's history. The steeple of the original congregation's meeting house burned in 1870. Then in 1947 the church was burned to the ground. The new church was completed in 1948. The Congregation voted to close in 2012 due to declining membership and pledges. For a more comprehensive history, please see box 9, 150th Anniversary booklet.
List of Pastors:
|John Flavel Griswold||1828-1831||Allen C. Blaisdell||1924-1927|
|William Tyler||1832-1839||Theodore Bacheler||1928-1943|
|William W. Thayer||1839-1842||Herbert H. Bair||1943-1951|
|Leander Thompson||1843-1850||Charles N. Burn||1951-1959|
|Porter H. Snow||1852-1854||Robert Dennett||1959-1966|
|Richard Knight||1856-1878||Martin Johnson||1966-1974|
|Samuel M. J. Merwin||1860-1867||Charles E. Ihloff||1974-1994|
|George E. Fisher||1867-1878||R. C. MacCreary||1995-1999|
|Winfield S. Hawkes||1878-1887||M. C. Williams (interim)||2000-2002|
|Stephen W. Webb||1884-1894||M. E. MacCullagh||2002-2003|
|G. Walter Fiske||1900-1903||J. A. Ewen||2006-2009|
|Frank E. Butler||1903-1911||D. B. Szyszko||2009-2013|
|Bruce W. Cronmiller||1911-1923|
Scope of Collection
Collection includes annual reports and church meetings; women's and social groups; Sunday school; membership; financial; Sunday bulletins; photographs; correspondence. Despite the church's complete destruction in 1947, there is reasonable representation from pre-1947 records, including a few original ledger books. However, researchers may find there are large gaps in the record, due to this cataclysmic event.
Fully ripe : a memorial sermon preached in the Congregational Church, South Hadley Falls, Mass., Sunday morning, May 29, 1881, by Rev. W.S. Hawkes 15.0.7 5633 CAR-CHA
This collection has not been fully processed. The collection items are in the original order in which the records were given to the library. There will be a scope note for each box to help clarify contents.
|Primarily contains bound notebooks for women's groups, such as the junior guild, ladies benevolent society, and missionary society. Date range is overall early to mid-20th century, with the exception of one early record book from the Society, 1825-1878.|
|Unbound annual reports, 1940s-2012.|
|Church minutes and annual reports, bound and in folders 1930s-1970s. Membership book, 1995-2011.|
|Church record book that includes membership, baptisms, and meeting minutes, 1828-1914; meeting minutes, 1979-1994; folders of ex-members.|
|Membership index cards, 20th-21st century.|
|Financial records from the church and Sunday school including individual pledge cards from a pledge drive, circa 1870s-1940s, 1970s.|
|Women's Fellowship, circa 1900-1980s; memorial books; photographs.|
|Women's Fellowship and related groups, circa 1900-1977.|
|Church manuals, anniversary booklet-history of the church; photographs; history; anniversary celebration; insurance policies; charter; fragile record book started in 1834; minutes started 1861; membership book, 1911-1927; microfilm reel of building plans.|
|"Published records of events beg. 1800s-late 1900s" (original box description).|
|Mixed historical records, 1940s-1970s. Includes Sunday bulletins.|
|Social Group, "Mafo" - social group for young, married couples; photographs; membership|
|Original Charter, 1824|