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HAT is known to-day as "the old meeting house," built soon after the Revolution, was so truly for the succeeding fifty years the centre of the town life, that it seems a fitting point from which to begin an account of Haddam's second century. It was planned before the division of the original society into the three of Haddam, Higganum and Haddam Neck. Boatloads of parishioners then came across the river and tramped through the meadows. Ox teams brought families from Johnson's Lane near Dur ham and from Turkey Hill near Killingworth. In the sketch of the First Congregational Church, written by the present pastor, Mr. Lewis, there is a charming description of the structure. It stood at the head of Haddam street, crowning a hill; surrounded by buttonballs; "a stately building," of the dignified style of the time. Three stone steps, leading to the green on which it stood are all that now remain. Nothing of the building has this generation seen, save a few bits of the decorations, the "cookies," as the children called the mouldings that softened the terrors of the sounding board. It is

an increasing regret that with the changes. in the church body, it was deemed wisest to leave the old building.

The present church, finished in 1847, is pleasant and convenient, and it may be but the glamour of the past that makes the departed structure seem the more precious. In the old church it was that Watt's Psalms and Spiritual Songs were lined off, and the tuning fork held its final sway. There sounded the clarionet, the bass viol and the fiddle. To the old church, on the death of Mr. May in 1803, came David Dudley Field, whose descendants figure in every history of American jurisprudence, literature or enterprise. Dr. Field held three pastorates in the town, two to the original church, from 1804 to 1818 and from 1836 to 1844, when he became the pastor of the church then newly formed at Higganum. During all these twenty-seven years Dr. Field's efforts for the town were enthusiastic and effective, and his interest in the place and the people to which his earliest and his latest labors were given is evinced not alone in the faithfulness of his pastoral work, but in his three volumes con


cerning the region; "History of Middle-
History of the Towns of
sex County," "History of the Towns of
Haddam and East Haddam," and the
"Brainerd Genealogy." Among those of
in Haddam, were
his children born
David Dudley, the eminent jurist; Step-
hen, long senior justice of the Supreme
Court; Matthew, who bore an important
share in the successful laying of the first
cable; and Emilia, whose son, Mr. Jus-
tice Brewer, sat with his uncle, on the
Supreme bench at Washington.


The unpainted walls of the dwelling
which the Fields first occupied, and in
which David Dudley Field, Jr., was born,
stood until five years ago, opposite the
Further up the
present schoolhouse.
street was the second home, a square
white house, built by Dr. Field, the site
of which is yet made beautiful by the elms
set out by the preacher. On Dr. Field's
return for his second pastorate, he went
to the new parsonage, beside the meeting
house, the building noted in village an-

nals as the result of the "cold water
raisin'." In those days, neighbors gath-
ered to put up the frames of buildings.
The labor was made the occasion for
merrymaking and New England rum fig-
ured in the entertainment. The parson-
age was built for Dr. John Marsh, the
clergyman between the two pastorates of
Dr. Field. Dr. Marsh was famous as a
pioneer in the temperance movement that
later swept over the country. No rum
could be expected at the "raisin'" of his
parsonage, and many were the prophesies
that the timbers would never be in place
on such terms. The staunch minister won
however and no stouter building faces the
street to-day, than that of the "Ma'sh

Some twenty years ago, the four sons
of Dr. and Mrs. Field, proposed a memo-
rial for their parents. A park was contem-
plated on the site of the church where
their father had preached, and below the
parsonage, but the space was small and
finally, not only that was bought, but
also a larger tract opening in the centre
of the village and running behind the
"Brainerd Academy," in the founding and
success of which, Dr. Field was deeply
Drives wind through the
grounds. Young trees and shrubs mingle
with the veteran growth that stood in the
pasture lots before the park was planned.
Frowning on the village, Isinglass Hill
rises from the midst of the lawns. Toward
the street, great boulders make its end a
Behind the Academy, its steep
side rises, clothed in dark undergrowth
and slender trees that reach upward for
the sunlight. On its summit two ragged
pines keep watch. Every child of the
town has gathered mica from the loose
stones of its steep pathway and has crept
to the edge to peer venturesomely over
the ledges. Each, when older grown, has
returned to look on the serene sweep



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forest spread in a wide picture, and from the crest of which upper Higganum seems tumbled, willy nilly, into the hollow at its feet. The little white church of Haddam Neck turns its back on the world across the river in order to face its village street. There is not a point whence the Neck can be seen that does not show the tiny spire facing unsociably to the east, with no sign. of excuse, for the Neck, from the west, looks one steep hillside with here and there a farm house set in woods. The longest of recent pastorates, however, have been in the original society and no

Efforts for a town library were made as
early as 1791, when a library society was
formed. This was short lived but twenty-
five years later a literary society owned
eighty volumes. Other attempts to col-
lect books have left traces in odd volumes
bearing the marks of the different clubs,
remnants of these small gatherings being
now included in the twelve hundred books
of the present free library. Originally
the Association having the care of the
Since this fee was dropped,
for its use.
library charged a fee of one dollar a year
the circulation of the books has increased
tenfold, but all support

(Birthplace of David Dudley Field, Jr.)

account of the town is complete that does
Mr. Cook, known in
not mention these.
theologic circles for his "Theory of the
Origin of Evil,"
Moral System" and "Origin of Evil,"
served some few years after the division
of the society. Later came Mr. James L.
Wright, the beloved pastor, in memory of
whose sixteen years of beautiful service,
the present communion table was given.
In 1871, on the death of Mr. Wright,
succeeded Mr. Everett E. Lewis, whose
earnest endeavor for the welfare of the
town has been through all these eight and
twenty years as unflagging as it has been
broad minded, thoughtful and devoted.

must now

come from gifts, and the funds are at present nearly exhausted. Aside from the amount needed yearly (one hundred dollars) the collection has outgrown its present quarters and a building for its accommodation, making possible also a reading room, is the dream of those interested.



In ripping an needle case, recently, the stiffening was found to be ancient ball invitations. One card decorated at the top by an olive branch and the word "Peace" reads: "Miss Zeruiah Brainerd is requested to honor the company with her attendance at the Ball at N. & J. Brainerd's Hall on WednesThe windows of "N. & J. afternoon." day the 1st March, 1815, at three o'clock, Brainerd's Hall" still look down on the village street from between the heavy hemlock boughs. The house, now that of Mr. G. A. Dickinson, is a fine specimen of the hip roof looking to-day as staunch and comfortable as on that March afternoon when its walls echoed to the figure

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