Asylum Hill Congregational Church

Status: Current

814 Asylum Avenue: Built 1864-1866, architect Patrick C. Keeley, builder Samuel Coit; chapel (now Drew Hall) opened 1864; church dedicated 1866; bell installed 1871; tower and spire constructed 1875; clock installed 1897; parish house added 1903-1904; Gross Memorial Chapel and expansion of parish house added 1939-1940; extension of parish house added 2004.

The Church Campus

Vacant lot purchased, no Huntington Street; Huntington Street established; properties to east of church building sold; chapel constructed; church constructed; parish house constructed; memorial chapel & parish house expansion constructed; parking lots added & demolition of apartment building; parish house extension.

Building Memorials
Building Honoree
Clock and Clock Tower Roland Mather, prominent Hartford resident and church benefactor
Drew Hall Bernard Drew, senior minister from 1949 until 1973.
Gross Memorial Chapel Charles and Ellen Gross, church members and benefactors; Charles was a prominent Hartford lawyer responsible for the creation of several Hartford parks

Cost of building.
Actions Cost Cost in 2020
Land $10,000
Chapel (now Drew Hall) $14,000
Church Building $106,208.58 (incl. furnishings)
Spire $19,000
Clock
Parish House $25,000
Parish House Addition & Gross Memorial Chapel $97,000 (incl. upgrades to heating system)
Parish House Extension
Total




The Parsonage

125 Woodland Street – Home of Joseph Twichell (demolished)
852 Asylum Avenue – 1897-1934, occupied through 1930
258 Kenyon Street – 1932-1965



The Church's Senior Pastors

Joseph Twichell, called installed retired; John Voorhees, called installed retired; Willis Butler, called installed retired; David McKeith, Jr., called installed retired; Bernard Drew, called installed retired; Walter Wagoner, called installed retired; James Kidd, called installed retired; Gary Miller, called installed retired; Matt Laney, called installed retired; Erica Thompson, called installed.


Associated People

Samuel Clemens
Roland Mather
Julia Turner
Samuel Coit
Howard Walter
Erastus Collins
David Hawley
Calvin Stowe
Horace Bushnell
Atwood Collins
Charles Gross
Charles Welles Gross
Patrick Keeley
David Bartlett



Framing Events

The Instrumentalities of the Beginnings of the Church, or the Three Necessities of the Community
Sunday School
o No direct mention at 1860 Annual Meeting of City Missionary Society
o Timing, however, lines up
Prayer Meeting at David Bartlett’s House
o Bartlett returned to ASD in 1860, so that works
o Calkins was in New Haven until 1862, so that doesn’t
Calvin Stowe’s Bible study
• Stowe didn’t arrive in Hartford until 1864
The overall order of events, oddly enough, does work
• Collins just got the years wrong in 1915
Formation of the Asylum Hill Congregational Society
Annual Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival



Questions about Asylum Hill Congregational Church

3/21/1965 3/24/1973 AHCC took at least three votes on whether to relocate itself, and each time it voted to stay in Hartford. These votes reflect both the changing addresses of the church's membership and the church's changing sense of its mission.

2/3/1875 1/31/1904 Relevant because the church seemed to think it was: Atwood Collins was impressed, while another historian of the church wanted to emphasize Keely's training in England. Also relevant because Keely was a very prominent architect specializing in churches, and AHCC is one of only five Protestant churches he designed. And finally it's relevant because Keely's design was very similar (if not identical) to his design for Saint Patrick's Church in downtown Hartford.

Not always clear who got what from whom. Sources include the Hartford Daily Courant & Hartford Courant; F. Irvin Davis, 3/2/1908; Maria Metcalf's letter; Jeremiah M. Allen's handwritten manuscript on the founding of the church; Atwood Collins's annual reports to the Asylum Hill Congregational Society; William L. Collins's diary; and James S. Tryon's paper on the 25th anniversary of the church. I haven't seen all of these sources for myself, but they are sourced in other histories of the church.


Related Chronicle:
<-- 1860-10-28 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1860-10-29 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1860-11-04 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1861-00-00 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1861-07-13 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1864-00-00 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1864-02-03 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1864-02-06 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1864-02-12 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1864-02-19 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1864-03-28 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1864-04-00 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1864-06-17 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1864-06-25 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1864-06-29 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1864-07-05 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1864-07-07 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1864-07-13 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1864-08-08 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1864-09-12 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1864-09-26 asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1864-11-02 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1865-03-04 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1865-03-11 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1865-03-12 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1865-03-23 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1865-04-03 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1865-05-02 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1865-06-11 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1865-08-04 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1865-08-08 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1865-09-03 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1865-10-15 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1865-11-02 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1865-12-03 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1865-12-13 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1865-12-14 Asylum Hill Congregational Church
<-- 1866-06-15 Asylum Hill Congregational Church


Related Tours:


Related Events:


Related Lore:
<-- Goodwin v. Gross: The Rain of Parks
<-- Lydia Sigourney Street?


Related People:

Related Places:



Project History

Asylum Hill Congregational Church dedicated

06/15/1866

Construction Update on Asylum Hill Congregational Church

12/14/1865

Joseph Twichell Installed as Pastor at Asylum Hill Congregational Church

12/13/1865

Calvin Stowe leads the service at Asylum Hill Congregational Church

12/03/1865

Asylum Hill Congregational Church Plans a Lecture Series

11/02/1865

Horace Bushnell leads the service at Asylum Hill Congregational Church

10/08/1865

Calvin Stowe returns to the pulpit at Asylum Hill Congregational Church

09/03/1865

Joseph Twichell accepts Asylum Hill Congregational Church's call to service

08/08/1865

Construction continues at Asylum Hill Congregational Church

08/04/1865

From Sunday School students to members of Asylum Hill Congregational Church

06/12/1865

Cornerstone laid at Asylum Hill Congregational Church

05/02/1865

Construction on the Asylum Hill Congregational Church underway

04/03/1865

Asylum Hill Congregational Church formally organized

03/23/1865

The chapel at Asylum Hill Congregational Church completed

03/04/1865

Asylum Hill Congregational Society Forms a Committee to Recommend a Pastor

11/02/1864

The Courant describes the plans for Asylum Hill Congregational Church

09/26/1864

Asylum Hill Congregational Society addresses road conditions on Asylum Avenue

09/12/1864

Asylum Hill Congregational Society petitions for permission to build

08/08/1864

Architect at work on designs for Asylum Hill Congregational Church

07/13/1864

Huntington Street Planned

07/07/1864

Asylum Hill Congregational Society closes on its new home

07/05/1864

Asylum Hill Congregational Society selects a site

06/29/1864

Asylum Hill Congregational Society formed

06/25/1864

Asylum Hill Congregational Church Moving Forward

06/17/1864

Support (or not) for the Asylum Hill Congregational Church

04/01/1864

Public speculation on the site for Asylum Hill Congregational Church

03/28/1864

Asylum Hill Congregational Chapel dedicated

03/12/1864

Seats rented at the Asylum Hill Congregational Chapel

03/11/1864

Site Selected for Asylum Hill Congregational Church

02/19/1864

Early reporting on the new Congregational church

02/12/1864

Resolved: A Congregational Church needed on Asylum Hill

02/06/1864

Meeting to discuss need for a Congregational church on Asylum Hill

02/03/1864

Calvin Stowe's Bible class begins

01/01/1864

The Asylum Hill Sabbath School open -- Definitely

07/13/1861

The Prayer Meeting that Began Asylum Hill Congregational Church -- Maybe

01/01/1861

Asylum Hill Sabbath School opens -- Maybe

11/04/1860

Marie Metcalf began a survey to demonstrate interest in a Sunday school on Asylum Hill

10/29/1860

Annual Meeting of the City Missionary Society

10/28/1860