Friday, July 25, 2014

Centennial of the St. James' Episcopal Church

On July 26, 2014, St. James' Church at Lake Delaware will be observing its 100th anniversary. The establishment of the church was spearheaded by the Gerry Family at Lake Delaware. A story is told that the reason the church was established was due to the tardiness of the Gerry children in getting ready to go to church in Delhi. Commodore Gerry, frustrated by the challenge of getting his children out the door, is supposed to have said once at the foot of Lake Road "I wish there was a Church here, then perhaps you children could get to Sunday School on time."

Years later, during the summer of 1913, Miss Mabel Gerry began a series of missionary meetings in "The Hook." They were held in the homes of Earl and Amy Fisk and of Roscoe Brown. In the spring of 1914, a small house in "The Hook" was leased and converted for use as a house of worship. The first service was held in the chapel on Palm Sunday, April 5, 1914 by the Rev. William A. Long.

In the early 1920s, Miss Angelica Gerry secured the services of the Boston church architect, Ralph Adams Cram, to design a new church and rectory for the congregation. Work was begun in the Spring of 1922, with the cornerstone laid on Saint James' Day, July 25th, 1922. St. James’ Church is constructed of brown shale taken from the area’s stone walls, along with Indiana limestone and slate for the roof.  The spire was added at the request of Miss Gerry.

A year and a half after the laying of the cornerstone, on Christmas Day, 1923, the first service was held in the new Church building by the Rev. Octavius Edgelow. Two years after the laying of the cornerstone, the church was consecrated on Saint James' Day, 1924. Miss Angelica Gerry took an active part in the life of the congregation until her death in 1960.

Here are a series of pictures of from the cornerstone ceremony, courtesy of the Delaware County Historical Association.

Note the original chapel established 100 years ago. The building no longer exists.
Procession to the old church on Route 28.

Another view of the procession to the site of the old church.
Cornerstone ceremony.
NOTE: The procession photos are showing them processing to the old church, not the new one. So it is likely that these are in the wrong order, but I will check to be sure. I'm sorry for this error. I assumed they went from the old chapel to the corner stone ceremony, but it appears they went to the new church site first and then to the old chapel. Thanks to Ed Davidson for catching this mistake.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this nice notice about Saint James Church and its history and Centennial Celebration. We welcome everyone to visit Saint James Church to worship with us.