Thursday, February 20, 2014

Those Places Thursday (February 20, 2014) -- Christ Church in Lonsdale, Rhode Island

Christ Church in Lonsdale, Rhode Island was founded in 1833. At the time, Lonsdale was part of the town of Smithfield, but it is now part of Lincoln, Rhode Island. Episcopalians who worked in the mills in Lonsdale originally began meeting and holding services in the village schoolhouse, but in January 1834 they formally organized into the parish of Christ Church and later that same year they were accepted into the Diocesan Convention.

The majority of the members of Christ Church were employed by the Lonsdale Company and so in 1835 the company donated $2,000 to a building fund and contributed land where a new church could be built. The church was completed in 1835 and it has been a part of the greater Lonsdale community ever since. The original church burned down in 1883, but the Lonsdale Company almost immediately rebuilt the church for the parish.  It was larger than the original church and was located on the same site. The new church was completed in 1884. The undated antique postcard shown above is of the rebuilt church post-1884.

Generations of my family have been associated with Christ Church in Lonsdale. I was baptized at Christ Church on April 27, 1952.  My mother was baptized at Christ Church on September 9, 1928. My grandparents, Everett S. Carpenter and Ruth E. (Cooke) Carpenter, were married at Christ Church on Saturday, September 18, 1926. Both of my grandparents were baptized at Christ Church. My grandfather was baptized at Christ Church in 1891 and he was confirmed in the church on Maundy Thursday, 1907. My great grandfather, Samuel Eber Carpenter, was president of the Young Men's Parish Club of Christ Church for seventeen years and was a senior warden of the church.

Christ Church in Lonsdale (Sept. 2005)

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Photographs by the author -- September 2005.

Postcard source unknown.
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Copyright 2014, John D. Tew
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