The Congregational Church of Plainville, UCC
~ A Brief History ~
Plainville was originally part of Farmington which was settles in 1640. For 200 years the religious thought and life of our community centered in the First Congregational Church in that village.
As people settled outside the village and in the more remote “Great Plain” area, they continued to travel every Sunday the four to five miles to church. They traveled by ox-cart, on horseback or on foot. Occasionally winter privileges were granted during the most severe weather which allowed worshippers on the plain to gather in private homes.
In 1828, the Farmington Canal was opened to traffic. One of the canal boats, called the “Meeting Boat”, made the run to Farmington Center from Whiting’s Basin at the intersection of what is now Farmington Avenue and New Britain Avenue. The hour trip was spent singing hymns.
The people of Plainville began to talk about establishing their own church, separate from Farmington. Meetings began in 1839 and a petition was presented to the church in Farmington. Their request for a separate church was granted. In 1840 twenty-one persons were received into the congregation. The first Communion was celebrated at a school house on April 12, 1840.
After much discussion regarding a location for the Meeting House, it was built at the corner of Strong Court and West Main Street and was dedicated on June 25, 1840. The attendance was so great the building could not accommodate all who attempted to attend. An addition in 1844, for the cost of $150, added two more rows of seats.
In 1849 plans for a larger, more attractive house of worship took form. That meeting house was dedicated on July 31, 1850, in its present location.
From 1840, with a membership of 30 persons, to 1940, a total of 1786 men and women were welcomed into membership with 434 members of record in 1940.
In 1957 a merger of The Evangelical Church and The Congregational Christian Church was ratified resulting in The United Church of Christ.
The final addition to the church building was completed in 1969 and consisted of the narthex, offices, Fellowship Hall and the class rooms.
The history of The Congregational Church of Plainville, United Church of Christ, is documented in a booklet found in the library called “From the Founding of Farmington 1640-1975” by Henry Allen Castle and Mildred Amidon Abell.