2005 Champlain Historic Calendar
What does the Kaufman house on
For 14 years after the founding of Champlain in 1788, no church existed in the village. By 1802, with the help of traveling missionaries, a strong religious sentiment had grown in Champlain and some of the residents decided to establish a church. On July 13, 1802, the Congregational Church and Society was formally organized with the support of Pliny Moore, William Savage, Martha Savage, David Savage, Ebenezer Dunning, Robert Martin, Sarah Martin, Sarah Hamilton, Jonathan Darrow and Samuel Hicks.
By 1806, the church had grown to 14 members and
services were usually held at one of the memberís
houses. Pliny Mooreís house
on the corner of Oak and Elm Streets (today the site of
the Clark Funeral Home) was often used as a place of
worship. Other ceremonies
were held on the island in the
In 1822, Pliny Moore died and left one acre of land to the First Congregational Church and Society for the purpose of building a meeting house and other buildings. He also gave the society $1,000 to aid in its construction. Pliny wrote that he wanted the church to be built on the hill where the Americanís East Artillery Battery had been located during the War of 1812. Today, this location is at the corner of Pine and Spruce Streets overlooking St. Maryís Church.
In 1829, seven years after Pliny's will was
executed, the church trustees decided to build their
church. The one acre plot
of land that Pliny gave the church was exchanged for
land on the corner of Oak (formerly
In a 1902 speech by Charles Freeman Nye on the subject of Champlainís churches, he described the new location:
There seems to be some doubt whether the lot on which the church was built was the one indicated by the Judge in his will. Be this as it may, the lot chosen was that on which stands the home of the late Timothy Hoyle, Esq., now owned and occupied by Mr. White.
The church was built of brick, and the sacred quiet of the place was not disturbed by railway rumblings or whistles. Even with the present nearness of the railway tracks and the consequent noise at certain times, it is a matter for regret that the church does not now stand on the old lot on the hill.
The new Presbyterian Church (as it was now called) stood for 14 years and had three pastors. During the pastorate of Abraham Brinkerhoff on June 17, 1844, an arsonist burned down the church.
Images courtesy Special Collections Library, Plattsburgh State University College or the author.