Today is a special day as it is the 75 Anniversary of D-Day and in Eaton, it is the day the current Eaton Church was dedicated on June 6th in 1833. It’s the historic sight I see while having coffee in the morning.
At that time it was the Congregational Church, its founding members included two of the original incorporators of the Baptist Theological Seminary that became Madison University and today’s Colgate University.
In 1848 the church hosted the Congregational Society’s yearly northeast meeting at which time the Congregational Society officially adopted an anti-slavery stand. Some information on this is in the Cornell College Library.
The church had many noteworthy pastors including its first installed minister the Reverend E D Willis. I became interested in Willis because he lived in my house, a house that Allen Nelson Wood and his wife would buy on their return to Eaton.
The church’s members at that time included Allen Nelson Wood founder of the Wood, Taber & Morse Steam Engine Works and both his partners Loyal Clark Taber and Walter Morse.
Other famous Eatonites who attended services were Melville Delancey Landon and his family. Landon became a well known as both a writer and as a lecturer. Many rich and famous people attended the church during the Victorian era during what time Grover Cleveland’s brother; the Reverend William Cleveland was its pastor.
The church still today houses a historic Meneely Clock and Bell, and the churches windows which bear the names of some of Eaton’s greats… still grace its interior; an interior that sports hand turned pillars turned by Allen Wood himself.
During the Civil War the Eaton Churches banded together and held services attended by each other patrons during the week to pray for the wars end. Prayers were also read during the Wars that followed.
Eventually, the Congregational Church became part of the Federated Churches of Eaton and then later became a Community Church under the Pastor Thomas Clark who improved not only the building, and but helped institute a fabulous AWANA program. During the time he was pastor the congregation also built a large activities build that is used today for youths to play basketball and games and to host special functions.
The Church located on Brooklyn Street is the focal point of a new display at the Eaton Museum, so come down and visit the Sunday from 1-3 pm. Pick up a beautiful newly done portrait of the church as it looked in the 1800’s, we have them for sale!