Sunday, January 19, 2014


Last week I had a post on the four churches on the four corners in Palmyra, NY.  I decided to do the posts according to the churches age.  The Western Presbyterian was the first of the four churches to be built.  Western Presbyterian was build in 1832.  It is the largest of the four churches and has the largest congregation, to this day.  There has been an addition to the original church but that was many years ago - before my time. The addition has the office, community room, handicapped entrance and more.

Many of the people in this town did not believe in slavery and partook in the Under Ground Railroad for the slaves before and during the Civil War.  Rev. Dr. Eaton, who was Pastor of the Western Presbyterian Church at that time, hid slaves in the steeple of this church. 

I attended a Catholic High School and my term paper in my senior year in religion class was to interview a minister from another religion and tell the differences between their beliefs and ours.  I chose the Presbyterian Church and spoke with the Minister at the Western Presbyterian church.  Women's liberation was coming in then (1967) and I asked the Minister if he thought that the Presbyterians would ever have women ministers.  I can still remember him pounding his fist on the desk saying that the Presbyterian's would never have women ministers much less allow a woman to be Pastor.  As you can see by the white sign in the fifth picture - he was wrong.

On the second floor of the addition is the Canal Town Nursery School which the Western Presbyterian Church has sponsored since 1973. 

Next week's post will be on the second church built on the four corners - The First United Methodist Church.


Vickie said...

Extremely interesting Marilyn! What a beautiful church. How fascinating that slaves were hidden up in that steeple.

New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Vickie,
I just found about the slaves in the steeple when I was looking for a bit of history to put on with it. I think that was fascinating, too.

Hope you are feeling better.

Hugs to Mabel and Henry,
Marilyn and Pierre

Countryside Reflections said...

Those old churches are so beautiful. When you put on the picture of all four churches, I could just picture a line of horse and carriages coming into town on a Sunday for mass, and everyone breaking off to turn into their perspective place of worship. I love your minister story.


New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Doreen,
Glad you like them. We have had a couple of marriages in these churches with people with horse and buggy. They dress in that era for their marriages. I love the minister story, too. Times have come a long way.


Laura said...

Hi Marilyn & Pierre,

Love these posts about the different churches! Thank you for sharing the information! Hope you and Pierre are staying warm, safe & dry!


New York State Of Mind said...

Hi Laura,
Thank you for enjoying the posts. Pierre and I are staying warm, safe and dry except when we go for Pierre's walks. Burrr. Hope you are staying warm, safe and dry.

Marilyn and Pierre

Steve Salyards said...

Another historical point to this church: Joseph Smith's parents and some siblings were members of this church but kicked out for not attending regularly.

New York State Of Mind said...

Hello Steve,
Thank you for the information, I did not know that.

For those of you, that don't know. Joseph Smith founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints more commonly known as the Mormon Church. He founded the church in Palmyra. I will be doing a post on that church, too after I get the four corners done.