Happy icy Saturday! It took a while to get into my truck this morning as yesterday's wintry mix left a good coating of ice around the doors. I have an old truck, and I leave the doors unlocked during storms so I do not need to use my key. After a few tugs the door opened, and with a lot of help from the defrosters, the ice finally left my windshield. Thank you to the Town of Easton's Highway Department for keeping after the roads in a very messy storm!
Today I have a great photo of one of the Baptist churches. There have been four Baptist congregations in Easton since the early days. The first Baptist group lasted from 1762 to 1794, and the current Easton Baptist Church, begun in 1971, just celebrated their 50th anniversary. Liberty Baptist Church set roots here in 2013. The Baptist Society featured here is from the second iteration of that denomination.
It began with the urging and support of Captain Samuel Howes, Deacon of the Baptist Society as it was then called, and the Reverend Norman Bishop was called as the first Pastor. In 1893 the Baptists built the landmark building on the corner of Center Street and Columbus Avenue. The church had an active youth group, and many suppers and social functions were held in the barn behind Captain Howes home next to the church building. Several pastors served the congregation over the next few years. Reverend Samuel Knowles arrived in 1915, and he was active on the Welcome Home Committee for troops returning from World War I. However, with the passing of the older generation, the congregation was unable to meet the financial needs of the building, and in 1926 the building was rented to St. Mark's Episcopal Church, who purchased it two years later. Today the building is the location of the Southeast Funeral Home.
Our photo today shows the Baptist Church shortly after its construction. The original architectural details are shown well here, and they survive on the building today. Center Street is running left to right along the bottom of the photo, and Columbus Avenue crosses diagonally. Immediately behind the church is a horse and carriage with someone standing alongside. Right behind the church is a small barn, and to the left of that is the house occupied for many years by the Southworth family, who later ran the Corner Store and built the current Peach Store building on Columbus Avenue. The Kelley family lived in the house when this photo was taken. The small barn was converted into a rental apartment for some years. Just a little further up the street is the house lived in by the Hayward family for many years. The bare trees really helped in this case, so we can easily see a nice view of turn of the century North Easton. Note the couple walking on the sidewalk, the lady in the bottom of the photo wearing the fancy hat, and what appears to be a crosswalk marked out crossing Center Street! The North Easton Village District would have been installing concrete sidewalks by this time, and the crosswalk may have been concrete as well.
Have a great week, stay well, and we'll do this again next week!
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Anne Wooster Drury