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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-
CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, HADDAM.
The unpainted walls of the dwelling
nals as the result of the "cold water
Some twenty years ago, the four sons
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
THE OLD FIELD PLACE.
account of the town is complete that does
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