Historic Photo of Sackets Harbor Presbyterian Church

In Sackets Harbor, the first recorded worship services were held in the "Meeting House" at the corner of West Washington and South Broad streets around 1806. On February 12, 1816, a public meeting was held for the purpose of forming a Presbyterian Society with Melancthon T. Woolsey, Samuel Bosworth, Samuel F. Hooker, Elisha Camp and Enoch Ely as Trustees. March 1, 1817, the Rev. Samuel Snowdon began service as the Society's first minister.

Documents forming Presbyterian Society Documents forming the Presbyterian Society
Documents forming Presbyterian Society Click for larger view

The first church building was at the corner of West Washington and Bayard streets, built in 1819. Unfortunately, on August 21, 1843, the church was one of 17 buildings destroyed by fire. 1846 saw the completion of the new church building on the same site where the current structure is found. It was built of brick to minimize damage in case of another fire in the village.

Church in 1887-1891 Church Building, late 1800s
Church in 1845-1899 1845 church with new 1893 steeple

Accepting a generous gift from Colonel Walter Camp, a chapel was added in 1879 and Marietta Pickering Hay donated a chime of 9 bells in 1893 to be housed in a new steeple. However, another catastrophic fire destroyed the church building April 2, 1899.

1899 Church Fire After the 1899 Fire
The Church under construction in 1900 New church under construction in 1900

A new building was constructed on the same site, cornerstone laid September 5, 1899, and dedicated August 2, 1900. Mrs. Hay had the chime of 9 recast into a chime of 10 to be housed, along with the village library, in the new tower.

The completed Church in 1901 The completed Church in 1901

By 1920, the library had outgrown its space in the tower and moved into an annex built on the Broad Street side of the church. The congregation united with the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1942, becoming the United Church of Sackets Harbor. This was an imperfect union, due to the fact that separate members each related to different national organizations. By 1982 there were far fewer Methodists than Presbyterians, so all members became Presbyterian. In recognition of the former union, the name became the United Presbyterian Church of Sackets Harbor.

The library has since moved into their current building next door and the annex now serves as the church office. The congregation continues the maintenance and care of its building, eg.: restoration of the tracker organ in 1983; pew restoration, 1991; a 1996 major campaign to restore/upgrade the Sanctuary, Fellowship Hall and Christian education areas; and a new slate roof in 2006.

The Church sanctuary as it appears today Interior of the Church as seen today