BLTC Press Titles

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Knowledge of Higher Worlds and its Attainment

Rudolf Steiner

The Worm Ouroboros

E. R. Eddison

The Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Thomas Carlyle, Rudolf Steiner

Paradoxes of the Highest Science

Eliphas Levi

Ecclesiastical and other sketches of Southington, Conn

by Heman Rowlee Timlow


The first house of worship was built 17*24-28. The time it was begun or finished can not be ascertained. Even its precise location is a matter of dispute. That it stood somewhere on Burying-ground Hill, is unquestioned, but the exact spot is in debate. While there is really but one tradition as to the site, some circumstances have led to various opinions. The descendants of David Coggswell affirm that they have often plowed up pieces of mortar and boards, nails, spikes, &c, in a field lying south of the present enclosure; and also that he had seen the stone foundations of the meeting house there. Mr. Rodney Langdon has also plowed up debris in the same field, which seemed to indicate that a building of some kind had been there.

It cannot be disputed that in this field there had been a house, or' perhaps houses. But taking such facts, and giving them all the weight they deserve, they do not and can not settle the question. Another and equally satisfactory explanation can be given of them.

That there were " sabba-day houses" not far from the meeting house, is too well founded on tradition for question. One was built and occupied by Jared Lee. After the second meeting-house was built, Mr. Lee removed his Sabba-day house down to his own home, and it was converted into one of the farm out-buildings. This building was still standing when his grand-daughter (Mrs. Roxana Carter) was a little girl. If there was one Sabba-day house, there were probably more.* And the sites for these would naturally be not far from where this rubbish was plowed up. They would probably be on the highway. The north side of the hill would be too bleak. If to-day, any one wished to select a site for such a house, and have it on that ancient highway, he would find the least exposure just here. Now, when these houses were torn down, there would remain on the ground the underpinning and the refuse of boards, nails, &c.

1 Since writing the above I have come across old papers and family traditions that satisfy me that there were several of these bouses.

Aside from the above mentioned facts, I have been able to find nothing that supports the theory that the site was south of the present enclosure. All other testimony favors the summit of the hill, not far from where the two large oak trees now stand. Mr. Gad Andrus, who for many years has made the topography of the town a study, is unqualified in his belief that the site was within the enclosure. Several years ago an old lady pointed out to him the spot which her mother who was living, and who was familiar with the old meeting-house when standing there, had told her was the site. This is a little south-west of the trees, and south of the Robinson burying plot.

The Rev. Dr. Edward Robinson revisited the town about thirty years ago, and compared all the traditions of his family with the traditions that remained in the oldest families of the society. No man could be better fitted to press inquiries, and come to right conclusions than he. His experience in discovering and locating sites, and ability to settle such disputed questions, none can doubt. Had he given no reason for his conclusion, the bare statement of his opinion would outweigh any doubtful testimony. Some of his reasons we have.

His father became pastor here while the first two pastors (Curtiss and Chapman) were still living, and of sound mind. Many of his church and society had worshipped in the old building. Less than twenty-five years had passed since the old house had been removed. Mr. Chapman survived nearly six years after he came, and Mr. Curtiss nearly fifteen. Does it not seem incredible that under such circumstances the Robinson family could be mistaken as to the locality of the old building? And then too, Mr. Chapman's children, and Mr. Curtiss's children, and children's children, have brought down with them the same tradition. Dr. Robinson visited the oldest people in the town, and from them received but the one tradition. The only variation was in the facts before given, viz: that in some families it was known that refuse boards, &c, had been plowed up by some of their members. He took this testimony, and gave it due weight; but in view of other facts, set it aside as capable of receiving a different interpretation. Dr. Robinson was born in 1794. He grew up familiar with many who sat under the ministry of Curtiss and Chapman. His habits of thought and life, his family associations at this time, all qualify him to "speak as one having authority" in this thing. In the memoir of his father, (p. 80,) he quotes the opinion of Judge Lowrey, who places the site at the "South-East part of the burying-ground," and then in a foot-note says, "My own impression has always been, that this first meeting-house stood West of the path leading through the burying-ground from South to North, about midway of the surface of the hill; at a sightly spot over against two large trees; where formerly there were traces of earlier foundations. . Still another tradition places it in the field lying South of the burying-ground. More in accordance with usage, and therefore more probable is the sightlier spot.".

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