Charlemont — Charlemont Methodist Episcopal Church

Extracted from "History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Volume II," by Louis H. Everts, 1879.

      It is supposed that Methodist meetings were held in this town as early as 1806, but it does not appear that a class was formed or an organization effected until 1825. In that year the preachers laboring on the Rowe circuit gathered a few members into a class on Legate Hill, and supplied them with preaching as occasion permitted. The work prospered, and in 1831 Charlemont became a part of the Gill circuit, with a regular preaching-place at the house of Chester Upton, in Gould Hollow, near the south line of Heath. At this time the Rev. William Todd was the preacher in charge. The Unitarian meeting-house, south of this place, was next occupied, and after much difficulty the brick school-house at the village was secured, as a place for the meetings of the Methodists, whose membership was increasing rapidly. In 1833 a great revival occurred, from which the church received 50 additions, and, the school-house becoming too small to accommodate the congregation, the use of the Baptist meeting-house was secured, and it was occupied a short time; but in 1834 the frame of a meeting-house, 38 by 44 feet, was put up on the site of the present edifice and supplied with rough seats, and worship was maintained until 1837, when it was fully completed, and consecrated by the Rev. R. Ransom.
      The several classes were about this time constituted the Charlemont circuit, embracing appointments in other towns. Six years later the church began extending its work into the adjoining country, and the following year these efforts were attended by a revival in Heath, whereby from 70 to 80 persons were converted; and in Charlemont 40 more were converted the same year.
      In 1849 a class of Methodists was formed at East Charlemont, and, with those coming from Heath, the membership was now increased to 168. The following ten years was a period of encouraging prosperity, firmly establishing the church. In 1861 one of the members, Rosetta H. Mayhew, presented the society with a house and lot for a parsonage, which was made habitable by the Rev. R. Mitchell, at that time the preacher in charge. But the prosperity of the church was destined to be checked in the same year. In the winter the meeting-house, which had but a short time before been placed in good repair, was burned to the ground, inflicting a heavy loss on the society. The following summer the unoccupied Unitarian meeting-house was purchased and moved to the site of the old edifice, and in a remodeled state is the present house of worship. For a number of years the condition of the society was not prosperous, on account of the expenses attending the erection of the new church, and the membership became reduced; but in 1868 there was again an encouraging increase, the fruits of a revival. In 1878 the number of members was reported as 60. The church was valued at $2500, and the parsonage at $1000. The trustees were B. R. Edwards, J. M. Wheeler, E. E. Warfield, W. S. Warfield, W. E. Niles, H. Temple, and D. A. Veber. The present pastor is the Rev. J. W. Cole, and the superintendent of the Sunday-school J. M. Wheeler.
      The Methodist preachers in Charlemont, from the organization of the first class to the present, have been the following: The Revs. Samuel Eighmy, John Nixon, A. Harlin, E. Andrews, J. B. Husted, E. Crawford, J. C. Bonticou, S. H. Sizer, William Todd, A. C. Bosworth, Windsor Ward, Horace Moulton;, E. P. Stevens, Samuel Heath, D. K. Bannister, William Kimball, C. Hayward, W. Willcutt, Lyman Wing, J. W. Lewis, W. Taylor, E. Bugbee, E. K. Avery, C. C. Barnes, Proctor Marsh, L. Frost, Porter R. Sawyer, David Mason, G. W. Green, Moses Palmer, William Bard-well, E. A. Manning, Ichabod Marcy, Amasa Taylor, A. A. Cook, David K. Merrill, William Pentecost, John Goodwin, George McNamara, Rufus Gerrish, Samuel Jackson, Charles Morse, William B. Fowlman, R. Mitchell, C. N. Merrifield, John H. Gaylord, John Cadwell, George E. Chapman, Ichabod Marcy, W. T. Miller, and J. W. Cole.
      Among the Methodist ministers who were natives of Charlemont have been the Revs. Daniel Graves, Philo Hawks, David L. Winslow, Otis Legate, and William Legate.

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15 Jul 2005