The following narrative was written by Jonathan A. Haddock and appeared in his 1894 history of Jefferson County entitled "Growth of a Century":

       "Sackets Harbor Presbyterian Church was organized February 12, 1816, and Melancthon T. Woolsey, Samuel Bosworth, Samuel F. Hooker, Elisha Camp, and Enoch Ely were the first trustees. Meetings were held in the school-house until their first church edifice was erected in 1820, at which time the trustees were Josiah Bacon, Amos Catlin, George Camp, L. Dennison, J.V. Bacon, J. G. Parker and S. Johnson. "

       "In the great fire of August 23, 1843, their church building was destroyed, and in 1848 a new brick structure was erected by the following trustees: W.R. Stow, R.S. Robbins, Jason Phelps, H. Cook, S. A. Hudson, Walter Kimball, and George Camp. The original cost of this structure was $6,000. It will comfortably seat 400 persons, and is valued, including grounds and other church property, at about $8,000."

       "The chapel adjoining the church was erected, in 1879, by Walter B. Camp, and dedicated on Christmas, at which time it was presented as a clear gift to the church society by the generous builder. R. R. Webber is the present pastor. The present membership of the society is about 90. Since the organization of the Sunday school, in 1817, it has had but three superintendents—George Camp, Jason Phelps and Walter B. Camp. The latter held the position for many years."

       The first church building Haddock spoke of was at the northwest corner of West Washington St. and Broad St. The second edifice he spoke of was a Greek Revival structure constructed at the southeast corner of East Main St. and Broad St., which is one block north and across the street from the original site.

       Just five years after Haddock published his account, the "new" church of 1848 was entirely consumed in the great fire of April 3, 1899. The Lombardesque-style structure that stands today was erected the following next year on the same spot by Watertown designer D. D. Kieff, with the assistance of builders Haley, Ward, & Co. of New York City. The new building included stained glass windows by Tiffany, and bell chimes salvaged from the previous structure that had been a gift in 1894 from Marietta Pickering Hay, daughter of Capt. Augustus Pickering, whose house now functions as a museum.

       Around 1915-1920 the Hay Memorial Library was added on the Broad St. side of the church in identical architectural style by the family of Marietta P. Hay. Today, construction has begun on the first ever expansion for the library, according to historical reproduction standards.

       Prior to 1890, merchant and former stagecoach driver Emmanuel "Manuel" Jeffrey was appointed sexton of the Presbyterian Church, and when the new edifice was erected in 1900 Manuel became responsible for maintaining the tower and winding the big clock. He resigned in January 1921, and thereafter served as church trustee.

       The Sackets Harbor Presbyterian Church celebrates its centennial on the weekend of August 26-27th, 2000. Renowned organist John Weaver, Chair of the Organ Department at the Julliard School of Music will perform on the organ installed 2 August 1900, which retains its original pipes. Booklets and CD-ROMs describing the history of the stained galss windows will be sold and tours will be given of the bell tower and chimes.


© Mark A. Wentling, 2000
SOURCES:

Haddock, Jonathan A. Growth of a Century.
Philadelphia: Sherman & Co., 1894, p593.

Brennan, Robert E. and Jeannie I. Images of America: Sackets Harbor. Charleston: Arcadia, 2000.