Northbridge, Massachusetts. Centre Congregational Church records, 1782-2011.

Collection Information
Title:

Northbridge, MA. Centre Congregational Church records, 1782-2011.

Creator(s):

Centre Congregational Church (Northbridge, Mass.)
Center Congregational Church (Northbridge, Mass.)
Congregational Church of Christ (Northbridge, Mass.)

Dates:

1782-2011

Extent:

11 document containers, 2 boxes; 5.3 linear feet

Collection ID #:

RG 5030

Conditions Governing Access:

No access restrictions

Copyright: Preferred Citation:

[Identification of item], in the Centre Congregational Church (Northbridge, Mass.) records, RG 5030. The Congregational Library and Archive, Boston, MA.

Language:

English

Processing information:

Collection processed by Cristina Prochilo, 2012

Abstract:

This collection consists of the records of Centre Congregational Church, organized in 1782. The records document the functions and history of the church, including church governance, finances, leadership, and membership.

Acquisition Information:

Donated by Centre Congregational Church of Northbridge, Mass., October 2011.

Organizational History

Northbridge, Massachusetts was incorporated on July 14, 1772; before that it was part of Uxbridge and Mendon established by the "Mendon Indian Deed" completed in 1662. Centre Congregational Church was officially organized on June 6, 1782 with eight members – five men and three women. They called Reverend John Crane as their elect pastor; he was ordained at twenty-seven on June 25, 1783 and continued there for the next fifty years, making him the longest serving minister in Centre Congregational Church's history. Centre Congregational Church (also then known as the Congregational Church of Christ) had the first meeting house and first settled minister in Northbridge. Northbridge's early history was largely agrarian based, including grist and saw mills along the Mumford and Blackstone Rivers. Early iron work existed too; Col. Paul Whitin's late 18th century forge shop gave rise to the Whitin Machine Works. After his death in 1831, the village was renamed Whitinsville in his honor and his son, John C. Whitin, created the Whitin Machine Works, making machinery for mills. The Machine Works became Northbridge's major economic force until the late 20th century. With shifting population, the Centre Congregational Church built a new edifice in 1836 that burned in 1932. A third edifice was constructed where services were celebrated until the church's closure on June 5, 2011.

Note — Northbridge is comprised of five villages: Whitinsville (historic economic center), Rockdale, Riverdale, Linwood, and Northbridge Center. The Centre Congregational Church has a long connected history to Rockdale Congregational Church which at times throughout their history shared a minister.

 

Scope of Collection

The Centre Congregational records document the activities and history of the church organization. The Records document church governance, finance, church organizations, and membership. Included are ledgers, minutes, registers, membership records, directories, printed materials, photographs, and other records.

 

Arrangement

The Centre Congregational Church records are arranged in three series, highlighting the church's records the Ladies Aid Society, and the Church's activities. The Church Records series includes early church history, vital statistics, and financial matters of Centre Congregational Church. The Ladies Aid Society series includes materials pertaining to the society including cash books, meeting minutes, and President's notes. Finally, the Church Activities Series includes materials on the various aspects of church life, historical information regarding Centre Congregational Church, and photographs. The records are largely arranged chronologically. Researchers may find some of the files in reverse order.

Series I: Church Records
  Subseries I: Clerk's Records
  Subseries II: Treasurer's Records
  Subseries III: Collector's Records
Series II: Ladies Aid Society
Series III: Church Activities
  Subseries I: Church Life
  Subseries II: Historical
  Subseries III: Photographs

 

Related Material

Local Church History materials, 17.11.1 N82.2 FIRCC

 

Access Terms

Center Congregational Church (Northbridge, Mass.).

Congregational churches - Massachusetts - Northbridge.

Northbridge (Mass.) - Church history.

Registers of births, etc. - Massachusetts - Northbridge.

 

Detailed Description and Container List

Series I: Church Records

The Church Records series includes records related to the organization of Centre Congregational Church. Its particular strength is in its early church records
  Subseries I: Clerk's Records
  This subseries includes the covenant and vital statistics from the church's formation with notations by Reverend John Crane. It also includes building information regarding the dedication of the second edifice in 1836, attendance records, dismission records, and a notice regarding the severing of the yoked relationship with Rockdale Congregational Church in 1952.
Box 1
  1
Online interface
Ledger
  A Book of Records for the Congregational Church of Christ Northbridge
1782-1836
 
  2 Ledger
  Northbridge Congregational Society's Records
1814-1908
  3 Ledger
  Records of the Congregational Church of Christ in Northbridge 1835
1835-1904
  4 Letters of Dismission 1891-1912
Box 2
  1 Register 1902-1980
  2 Ledger 1910-1940
  3 List of Active Members 1912-1957
  4 Church Attendance Records (small notebook) 1940-1950
  5 Dissolvement with Rockdale Congregational Church 1952
Box 3
  1 Ledger 1952-1982
  2 Officers and Committees List 1956
  3 Register 1982-2000
 
  Subseries II: Treasurer's Records
  This subseries includes financial records connected with the Treasurer of Centre Congregational Church.
Box 4
  1 Treasurer's Book 1815-1897
  2 Treasurer's Book 1815-1909
  3 Church Treasury Account Book 1840-1840
  4 Church Treasury Account Book 1848-1848
  5 Treasurer's Book 1897-1912
  6 Treasurer's Book Pages 1945-1950
 
  Subseries III: Collector's Records
  This subseries includes Collector’s records for Centre Congregational Church. These items were intentionally given a separate subseries since they were organized separately from any Treasurer records.
Box 5
  1 Collector's Records 1945-1949
  2 Collector's Records 1950-1953
  3 Collector's Records 1954-1957
  4 Collector's Records 1958-1961
Box 6
  1 Collector's Records 1962-1965
  2 Collector's Records 1966-1969
  3 Collector's Records 1970-1973
  4 Collector's Records 1974-1977
Box 7
  1 Collector's Records 1978-1981
  2 Collector's Records 1983-1986
  3 Collector's Records 1988-1991
  4 Collector's Records 1993-1993
Box 8
  1 Collector's Records 2003-2005
  2 Collector's Records 2006-2007
  3 Collector's Records 2008-2009
  4 Collector's Records 2010-2011

Series II: Ladies Aid Society

This series includes materials pertaining to the Ladies Aid Society including cash books, meeting minutes, and President's notes.
Box 9
  1 Notebook - Ladies Aid Society Meeting Minutes 1909-1925
  2 Treasurer's Book 1909-1921
  3 Notebook - Clubs 1931-1933
  4 Cash Book - Ladies Aid Society Account 1912-1930
  5 Cash Book - Ladies Aid Society Accounts 1922-1934
  6 Cash Book - Ladies Aid Society Accounts 1929-1948
  7 Cash Book - Ladies Aid Society Accounts 1951-1978
  8 Cash Book - Ladies Aid Society Accounts 1984-1995
  9 Notebook - Ladies Aid Society Meeting Minutes 1925-1938
  10 Notebook - Ladies Aid Society Meeting Minutes 1938-1942
  11 Notebook - Ladies Aid Society Meeting Minutes 1941-1950
  12 Notebook - Ladies Aid Society Meeting Minutes 1943-1950
  13 Notebook - Ladies Aid Society Meeting Minutes 1950-1958
  14 Notebook - Ladies Aid Society Meeting Minutes 1952-1959
  15 Notebook - Ladies Aid Society Meeting Minutes 1958-1965
  16 Notebook - Ladies Aid Society Meeting Minutes 1965-1971
  17 Notebook - Ladies Aid Society Meeting Minutes 1971-1985
  18 Notebook - Ladies Aid Society President's Notes 1959-1969
  19 Notebook Pages - Ladies Aid Society President's Notes 1969-1971
  20 List of Ladies Aid Officers (copy) 1981-1982
  21 Picture of Tenzen Pemo - Tibetan Children's Village circa 1988

Series III: Church Activities

This series includes materials on the various aspects of Centre Congregational Church's activities and topics of interest. It is divided into three subseries related to church life, historical information, and photographs.
  Subseries I: Church Life
Box 10
  1 Covenant of Faith 1833
  2 Confession of Faith and Covenant of the Congregational Church in Northbridge (Centre) Mass. 1867
  3 Manual of the Congregational Church in Northbridge Center, Mass 1906 1906
  4 Christian Endeavor Topics 1910
  5 Christian Endeavor Topics 1931
  6 Guest Book 1952-1982
  7 Treasurer's Book – Northbridge Center Community Association 1954
  8 Ushers Report Cards 1967-1979
  9 Reverend George Merten – Letters to Members 1981-1982
  10 Guest Book 1982-2007
  11 Organ related 1985
  12 Directory 1993
  13 Newsletters 2006-2008
  14 Newsletters 2009-2011
  15 Pamphlet - The Northbridge Centre Congregational Church undated
  16 Pamphlet - The Pastor and People of Centre Church undated
 
  Subseries II: Historical
Box 11
  1 Shadow Box – Fragment of bell; church burned in 1932 (2nd edifice)
  Note – Fragile
1975
Box 12
  1 History and Manual Centre Congregational Church 1962
  2 Town of Northbridge Bicentennial Commemorative Journal 1972
  3 Bicentennial Anniversary 1982
  4 225th Anniversary 2007
  Subseries III: Photographs
  5 Photographs - Churches and people circa 1920-2000
Box 13
  1 Choir Book
  (Joel Bachelor, From His Choir, Northbridge, Mass. February, 19, 1869)
1869

 

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