Thank you to all the folks
that made our to the
of the First Presbyterian Church of Lowville a grand success!
Saturday July 16
Open House was our open house people loved the gifts of the spirit that we had on display as well as touring the spire to check out the bell
and the clock!
Visitors also enjoyed a walk through our history with photo walls, albums and artifacts in our Fellowship Hall downstairs.
They also enjoyed a snack of
cookies and punch during the open house.
Many thanks to all the neighbors and friends that visited us and to folks that came from far away that had attended our church as children, that got a chance to reminisce with old friend
and revisit their childhood!
On July 11, 1822, 12 persons met, all members of the
Presbyterian Church on Stows Square and of the
Congregational Church of the village of Lowville.
At the meeting they voted to constitute themselves into a church in the Presbyterian Society of Lowvillle
and adopted a confession of faith and covenant.
The town of Lowville was formed from what then was called the town of Mexico, Oswego County March 14, 1800.
Nicholas Low, a citizen of NYC, into whose possession the town of Lowville had previously fallen, deed to Silas Stow a piece of land in the central part of town consisting of 4,168 acres of land for $8,000.
This land would cover a square about 2 1/2 miles on each side.
This plot of ground was called Stows Square.
During this time religious services were held in private log homes.
On January 9, 1807, Silas Stow deeded the site where the church now stands, to the citizens of Lowville.
That same year, a wood building 38 X 52 feet,
two stories high was constructed.
On September 18, 1807, the First Congregational Society
of the village of Lowville was organized.
Services were held in Lowville and at Stow Square on alternating Sundays...Sunday services continued at the two churches for 14 years.
In 1826, the Presbyterian Society purchased the building that was on this site, as an academy and house of worship.
Plans were made to erect a church.
Only 18 months later the academy burned to the ground.
The Presbyterian Society built a church 44 x 64 feet on this site.
The church was dedicated in January 1829.
This building was occupied for church services until the evening of January 3, 1830, when the startling cry of "Fire, Fire"
rang through the streets.
Nothing could be done to save the church.
When morning dawned their beautiful building, the pride of the village and the hope of the church, was a mass of ruins.
The Stows Square Cemetery is located on the Wilcox Road
(off of Route 26) about 3 miles from the village Lowville
across from White's Equipment.
The bell on our church was dated October 9, 1860. It was a rotary yoke bell made from an alloy copper and tin and was manufactured by Meneely Bell Company of Troy, NY.
The bell had special rigging equipment,
including sky hooks for this purpose.
A great-grandfather of Clinton Meneely was Rev. Garrett L. Roof, pastor of this church from 1865-1879.
The steeple clock is also known as the town clock.
In 1911 the clock was replaced, and three circular faces
were installed on three sides of the steeple in place of the single octogen face which had been in front.
When the stone church was built the sanctuary was considerably different from the one we sit in today. This picture shows the chancel were the choir loft and organ are now.
As Jay Bowen said in his history printed in the
100th Anniversary booklet:
"this plan must have been adopted so that the late comers could not drop into the rear seats but could always have a front pew."
Notice the Tromploy painting to make the sanctuary
look bigger than it actually is
In 1906, an addition was built on the north end of the church and an arch was cut into that wall.
This area become the choir loft and the pulpit;
the organ having been moved from the balcony.
There were two Sunday school classes there
and one in the basement.
The walls of the sanctuary were repainted; the flooring, pews and oak woodwork as well as the central chandeliers were put in.
Also, at this time the stained-glass windows were installed.
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