Christ's Lutheran Church in 1895

In April, Nathaniel M. Nash, 48, church council president, wrote a testy note in the church records that he had recorded the minutes of the regular annual meeting, because Pastor B. Q. Hallenbeck, who chaired the meeting, had failed to do so. In May, the following is recorded in the records:

B. J. Hallenbeck resigned as pastor without notice or intimation to council or people.(1) From Anderson, Mark J., For All the Saints: Christ's Lutheran Church, Woodstock, New York, 1806-2006 [Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2006], p. 68, citing the church records. (Close)
The congregation then called Rev. A. W. Lentz, but he declined the call. Services deliverred by supply pastors continued for the first few months of the year in the old church building, which was known as the "Church on the Rocks" because it sat on a rocky ledge overlooking the Sawkill (about ¾ mile east of our present location--that is, north of present-day Route 212, across from the country club). In October, the congregation voted to call Rev. Isaiah J. Delo, a senior and expreienced clergyman, to be the new pastor. Here is a note by the new pastor in the record book for October 27:
Commenced my labors as Pastor of Christ's Lutheran Church of Woodstock, N.Y. Trusting in the Power of God's Word and relying on His Promise to be with His servants. I hope to accomplish much for His Glory and the upholding of His Kingdom on this field--I find her a devoted people, with a new House of God, a delight to look upon. Ready for consecration to God's Service and Worship. I. J. Delo(2) Ibid., p. 69. (Close)
[ Our church at about this time ] Construction of the new church building (the fourth, and present, one) on Mill Hill Road in the village of Woodstock, and the carriage sheds on that lot, had continued throughout the year. In November it was complete and ready to be dedicated. Here you can see the church near the top of Mill Hill Road, looking west; to enlarge the picture, just click it. Church historian Mark Anderson has provided some details about the building(3): Ibid., p. 167. (Close)
Since the church is on the south side of Mill Hill Road, its doors open to the north. The long axis of the building is north-to-south. The chancel, sanctuary, and apse are at the south end of the building. The building is balloon-framed of sawn lumber. The exterior was originally a two-toned combination of dark shingles and light clapboards. The bell tower forms the main entrance at the northeast corner of the building. The interior is finished entirely with "beadboard" wooden paneling.… [There] were two double-hung windows of clear glass on either side of the apse.…

Here is a note in the church record book for November 14:

Dedication-- Today the New Ev. Lutheran Christ's Church of Woodstock, N.Y., was solemnly and joyfully dedicated to the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The sermon on the occasion was preacht by Rev. H. J. Watkins, Prest. of Hartwick Synod, and was assisted in the services by the Pastor, Rev. I. J. Delo, Rev. C. H. Traver of Rhinebeck, and Rev. Travis of the M. E. Church of Woodstock. The day was gloomy and rainy and hence many were prevented from attending who would have appreciated the occasion, and also contributed to its financial success. The indebtedness was liquidated to within a few hundred dollars. In the evening the Pastor was installed by the Prest. of Synod according to the usual form. I. J. Delo, Pastor(4) Ibid., p. 69. (Close)
The cost was about $3,700 [$80,300 in 2006 dollars].

[ Bell in the belfry ] [ Inscription on the bell ]

According to church historians Magda Moseman and Mark Anderson(5),

Quoted from Moseman, Magda, and Anderson, Mark, eds., Perspectives and Patterns: Christ's Lutheran Church, 1806-1976 [Woodstock, NY: self-published monograph, 1976]. (Close)
The new church building was illuminated by a large, ornate chandelier hanging in the center of the chapel. It was balanced by a counterweight. Miss Florence Peper recalls helping her mother light the circle of kerosene lamps. The chandelier was pulled down with a long hook and the task took about ten minutes. The bell in the new building was presented by the sons of Reverend Martin Stover [whose pastorate was 1887-1892], in his memory [see the pictures above of the bell and the inscription on it; to enlarge either picture, click on it].… Although there is no written record, it would seem that the memorial stained glass windows [see below, purchased with funds that Mrs. Helen Lasher was instrumental in providing] were installed when the church was built.
Anderson explained about the bell(6): Anderson, For All the Saints, op. cit., p. 178. (Close)
There are two ropes extending into the vestibule below. One is used for ringing the bell by swinging it on its axle and having it sounded by the internal clapper. The other is used for tolling the bell with an exterior hammer.
Click any one of the stained-glass-window pictures (east, west, or north, in that order) to enlarge it and to see details at the top.

[ East windows ] [ West windows ] [ North windows ]

Anderson has provided some details about these windows(7):

Ibid., pp. 168-70. (Close)
These are of simple, nonrepresentational glass by an unknown designer and fabricator. The memorials are for the Nash, Lasher, and Wolven families. Nathaniel Nash was the council president and prime mover behind the construction of the new church. His parents, Joshua and Lydia, are named on the east window. (Joshua is also named as operator of the mill on the State Education Department historical marker by the golf course at the east end of town.) When the church was built, Helen Lasher was the church treasurer. She was born Mary Helen Wolven. She and her husband, Morgan, are named on the west window. Her father, Eli, and brother, William, are named on the north window.

The colors of the glass are the colors for the liturgical seasons of the church year, but that may be coincidental. In the upper parts of the windows are common Christian symbols: the anchor and cross (traditionally associated, respectively, with safe harbors and the hope of salvation and eternal life); the crown of glory; the star of David; the cross with the circle of infinity; and the Greek alpha (Α) and omega (Ω). The alpha is placed upside-down (). The alpha is also in the west window, rather than the east, where it would have been more traditionally placed. Although these windows are simple, they are an example of an extensive use of stained glass in a rural church--unusual for a congregation that was not wealthy.

The pews and the distinctive hardware (doorknobs, door pull, hinges) were installed at this time. Click either link in the preceding sentence to see pictures. Here is what Anderson has said about them(8):

Ibid., pp. 170, 172, 177. (Close)
The pews are made of a plain, tight-grained wood, stained to match the paneling. There are three sections of pews, forming two aisles; there is no center aisle. This sometimes makes for awkward processions.…

The rear of the church includes a series of large sliding doors, which can separate that section from the nave. This area was used as a Sunday School room and for church meetings. It also contained a coal stove, which was used to heat the church in the winter. The chimney in the west side of this room originally made a forty-five-degree turn above the ceiling level. It then followed the roofline until it reached a point about midway back, where it made another turn and exited the roof.…

The doors of the church are provided with the exquisite patterns of cast door hardware common to the Victorian period. You see it in all of the hinges and handles.

The Bible School was flourishing.

Edgar T. Shultis graduated from the confirmation class.

[ View looking up Mill Hill Road ]

Above is a view looking up Mill Hill Road just after our new church was built. It is in the distance on the left of the road. (To enlarge the view, click it.) There is no Joyous Lake or Denny's or CVS (Grand Union) to interrupt the view.

The Woodstock Region in 1895

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The United States in 1895

[ Grover Cleveland ]

Grover Cleveland (Democrat) was President. The newly elected 54th Congress was in session. A dollar in that year would be worth $21.71 in 2006 for most consumable products.

Immigrants from the British Isles and western Europe (especially Great Britain, Ireland, and Germany)--the so-called "Old Immigrants," most of them boasting a comparatively high level of literacy and accustomed to some level of representative government, who were either Protestant (most of them) or Catholic, were arriving during this decade at an average annual rate of 111,000. The "New Immigrants," those from southern and eastern Europe (especially Italy, Austria-Hungary, and Russia), largely illiterate and impoverished, who tended to be either Catholic, Orthodox, or Jewish and who had little experience with representative government, were arriving at an annual rate of 184,700--two-thirds again as much as the Old Immigrants' rate, a fivefold proportionate increase from a decade earlier and twice as many in raw numbers. The New Immigrants huddled together in large cities, such as New York City and Chicago.

Solidly Democratic white supremacists held political power all over the South. Blacks (and poor whites as well) continued being forced into sharecropping and tenant farming; former slave masters were now bosses and landlords. Through the "crop-lien" system, the serflike small farmers could get food and supplies from storekeepers by agreeing to a lien on their expected crops, a lien they would never be able to fully pay off. The economically dependent blacks who tried to vote faced unemployment, eviction, and violence. The daily discrimination against blacks grew increasingly oppressive. "Jim Crow laws," systematic state-level legal codes of segregation, maintained a way of life for African Americans that was grotesquely inferior to that of whites. Blacks had inferior schools and assigned places on such public facilities as railroad cars, theaters, and restrooms. Blacks were continually assaulted by harsh reminders of their second-class citizenship, and the white supremacists dealt brutally with any black who dared to violate the customary racial code of conduct. Record numbers of blacks were lynched, often just for the "crime" of asserting themselves as equals.

There were 179 lynchings in the United States during this year; 113 of the victims were black, 66 of them white. (Apparently what terrible things that happened to Native Americans or to Asians did not get counted.)

Booker T. Washington discussed race relations in his address at the Cotton States Exposition in Atlanta(10):

From "Transwiki: American History Primary Sources Reconstruction and the New South," Wikiquote (part of Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.), at _Primary_Sources_Reconstruction _and_the_New_South, accessed 7 April 2007. (Close)
In all things purely social we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress.… [There were] no limits to the attainments of the Negro.… I want to see him enter the all-powerful business and commercial world.

The 31-year-old New York Guarantee and Indemnity Company in New York City was renamed Guarantee Trust Company of New York.

John F. Harris, 32, opened a commodities trading firm in Chicago; his sister Gertrude would marry John P. Upham, and the firm would later be known as Harris, Upham & Co.

Some 6 million tons of steel were produced in the United States, a 300-fold increase in less than three decades and now surpassing the British output.

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The World at Large in 1895

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