Way Back When... 1837
Updated 4:12 pm, Friday, May 5, 2017
Congregational worship services in what is now the town of Darien were originally conducted in private homes starting in 1668.
At that time the community was still under the authority of the First Church in Stamford, but meetings for worship independent of Stamford began to be held in the 1730s.
The Middlesex Ecclesiastical Society was officially organized in 1744.
Its first minister, Moses Mather, would remain in the pulpit for 64 years. The first meetinghouse was built in 1740 on the King’s Highway. Mather was a patriot during the Revolutionary War and, as described in Lossing’s Pictorial Field-Book of the Revolution (1859), “On Sunday, the 22d of July , the church was surrounded by a party of Tories, under Captain Frost, just as the congregation were singing the first tune. Dr. Mather and the men of the congregation were taken to the banks of the Sound, thrust into boats, and conveyed across to Lloyd’s Neck, on Long Island, whence they were carried to New York and placed in the Provost Jail. Some died there.”
Rev. Mather and most of the prisoners were eventually released. Middlesex Parish, established in 1737, remained a part of the Town of Stamford until Darien became a separate town in 1820. A new and larger brick meetinghouse, was built adjacent to the original in 1837 and a bell was installed in 1841.
The year congregational worship services started in private homes in what is now the town of Darien.