Waterbury, CT St Johns Church Fire, Dec 1868

The Burning of St. John's Church, at Waterbury, Conn.

From the Hartford Post, Dec. 28.

St. John's Church, Waterbury, destroyed by fire Thursday morning, was consecrated Jan. 13, 1848, by Right Rev. T. C. Brownell, Bishop of the Diocese of Connecticut. On the 19th of January, 1859, the furious gale which swept over the city, leveled the tall spire to the earth; but this damage was repaired. On Thursday morning the fire was discovered by Mr. Cowd, of Waterville, who was riding into town about 4:30 o'clock. It had not then broken out. He immediately gave the alarm, but it was full twenty minutes before a bell struck or an engine started. It was just at that hour when people sleep soundest. The flames soon burst out from the next to the last window on the south side, and in a few minutes the whole was unwrapped in flames. The wooden ceiling and the galleries covered with Christmas greens, burnt like tinder, and had there been a dozen streams turned on to it, it could not have been saved.

St. John's Church was one of the finest churches in the State at the time it was erected. The foundation was laid in 1847, and it was completed in 1848. The cost was about $40,000, but at present prices it could not be built for $150,000. It was finished throughout with black walnut, and was one of the most beautifully proportioned edifices inside and out. The insurance was equally divided between the following seven companies; Ætna, Hartford, Phɶnix, City, and Connecticut of Hartford, the Atlantic of Providence, and the North American of Philadelphia.

The New York Times, New York, NY 30 Dec 1868