First Ecclesiastical Society records, 1791-1924
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Brief Description:

The First Ecclesiastical Society records primarily document financial matters related to the First Congregational Church of Litchfield, Conn. The collection consists of correspondence, accounts, memoranda and statements, orders, promissory notes, receipts, and other items.

The First Congregational Church of Litchfield was founded in 1721. Its first minister was Timothy Collins, who served until 1751. Noted clergyman Lyman Beecher was the church's minister from 1810 to 1826. The first church building was constructed in 1723 or 1724 and was replaced by a new structure in 1761. A third church was built in 1829 north of the green. This building was moved and replaced in 1873 with a Gothic structure. In 1929, as part of the colonial revival movement in Litchfield, the 1829 church—which had been reused as an assembly hall and movie theater—was returned to the site and restored under the supervision of architect Richard H. Dana.

The church's business and legal affairs were managed by the First Ecclesiastical Society, which was founded in 1768. The church itself was incorporated in 1907 and in 1941 the two entities were combined into one corporation. In 1960, the church became part of the United Church of Christ.

The bulk of the records overlap the time of Rev. Beecher's tenure. Some are signed by him and pertain to his salary. There are several documents which relate to the installation of a new organ in 1828. There are also several documents regarding land acquisition and sale.

Held at:
Litchfield Historical Society
7 South Street, P.O. Box 385
Litchfield, CT 6759
Phone: 860-567-4501
Fax: 860-567-3565
Email: archivist [at]
Record Series Number: 00/2010-381-0
Created by: First Ecclesiastical Society (Litchfield, Conn.)
Volume: 0.1 Linear Feet
Acquired: 12/30/2010.
Access Restrictions: The collection is open for research.
Subject Index
First Ecclesiastical Society (Litchfield, Conn.)
Litchfield (Conn.) - Church history
Genres/Forms of Material
Architectural drawings
Financial records
Land surveys
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Rights/Use Restrictions: Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
Acquisition Notes: Donor unknown.  Found in collection.
Related Materials: First Congregational Church of Litchfield collection, 1845-1999
PreferredCitation: First Ecclesiastical Society records (2010-381-0), Litchfield Historical Society, Helga J. Ingraham Memorial Library, P.O. Box 385, 7 South Street, Litchfield, Connecticut, 06759