How an Episcopal Church in Redwood, NY
has Roots to St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Stockbridge MA

The connection? Hitty!

This Hitty bench (a replica of the Real Hitty's Bench) was made by John Atkinson.
It was made from a piece of wood taken from the Episcopal Church in Redwood, NY,
when it was torn down. The Real Hitty resides in Stockbridge, MA, and this is where
several stained glass windows for the Redwood Episcopal Church came from.

St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Stockbridge, MA

Pictures of the Original Bench in Stockbridge, MA


The Redwood St. Paul's Episcopal Church
What follows are interview notes by Jan Atkinson, with Peg Dingman, both of Redwood, NY.

There were 4 churches that were served by the Redwood Rector. They were Redwood, Theresa, LaFargeville and Gouverneur. Originally, the church in Redwood was a board and batten church. Eventually, they shingled it.

They got to the point where there were only 4 members to support the church. They were Henrietta (not sure of spelling of last name) D., Marguerite (Peg) Dingman, Rod Kable and Alma?, who were supporting the church. It was open from Easter to near Labor Day. A priest came in once a month and lay leaders filled the other Sundays. Because of the expense of heating the year around, use was like fighting a lost cause.

The windows were painted glass except the windows over the altar and one window over the indie double doors. There is a long history to the windows, some guy in Stockbridge, MA. made a fortune during the civil war. He lost his wife to typhoid and built a new church. The rector (at the time) got the windows but never had them installed. They were stored for 10 to 15 years in someone’s barn. A new rector heard about the windows and had them installed.

When the church was demolished in ?, a church in West Virginia asked for the windows. They sent Peg D. the plans to include them in a new church they were building.

One spring Peg and Her sister, Henrietta, went to clean the church for Easter. There were curtains drawn across the triple windows over the altar. They discovered loose glass. They hired Bernie Stephenson to take the windows out and an elderly gent who summered on Wellesley Island repaired them. There were a group of hippies around at the time and they made the glass to match for the sections that were broken.

The windows (originally from Stockbridge) are listed on a Massachusetts roll. The West Virginia church that has the windows also has the history of the windows.

The Redwood church was founded in 1840. It held its 125th anniversary before it closed.It was a member of the diocese for 100 years until they decided to drop the Redwood church. The bell is missing. It was dedicated in memory of the first women to die in Redwood. Fireman, Gene Hartman, went up into the rope hole to get the bell and it was gone.

Most of the furniture went to a new monastery in the Finger Lakes district. Shortly after closing, the Episcopal Church in the Bay asked for the new prayer books. About 4 years ago there was a tremendous fire and everything was destroyed.
When the church was torn down I (Jan Atklinson) got a piece of wood from the church and John (Atkinson) and Hal made me the bench. I thought it was quite a connection, a church with windows from Stockbridge Massachusetts and our connection to Hitty, who lives in the Stockbridge museum.

Jan Atkinson, 2008


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