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Third Oldest Church in Colebrook

“Many of the young folks in town today are surprised to learn that the Episcopal Church in Colebrook is one of the oldest in town. The fact that a church could be in existence for nearly a century and have no shelter of its own is hard to visualize – yet this is the story of St. Stephen’s Church. Confusion exists perhaps because they fail to realize that a church is the people of the faith, and not the building that houses them.

It all began in the early 1800’s when a handful of Episcopalians gathered in the old log schoolhouse on the Mohawk to worship, as did other groups of the day. They had no minister or lay reader, and it was not until 1820, when John Lane Sheafe, one of the early lawyers, appeared on the scene, that services were regularly conducted.” From “Colebrook, A Place Up Back of New Hampshire” by Dr. William H. Gifford.

“The lot on which the church now stands was purchased in 1909 through the efforts of Dr. George W. Dickson, a long time Colebrook dentist and the original owner of Dickson’s Pharmacy. He was Chairman of the Building Committee, and with the church leadership of Marion Hordley Noyes, began to raise funds for a permanent structure.

Rev. Dunstan, with the help of Rev. Harte, raised enough funds to start preliminary construction. The cornerstone was laid on October 6th, 1912, by Bishop Parker. The first service was held in the basement on the 30th of August 1914, when Dr. Leonard W. Harris, Jr. (a local doctor and the son of a former minister of the Congregational Church in Colebrook) did the Morning Prayer. At the next service (September 6th), Bishop Parker presided and consecrated the church. Attendance at that service was reported to have been 120.” From A History of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, by Rev. Granvyl G. Hulse, Jr.

Photo provided by Roxanne Herres