Bethlehem Lutheran Church
The Bethlehem Lutheran Church at 1 East High Street in East Hampton, Connecticut was built in 1855-1856 by residents on the north side of town who wanted to separate from the East Hampton Congregational Church.
The members of the ecclesiastical society, living in the vicinity of Lake Pocotopaug, becoming dissatisfied with the location of the meeting house in 1855 erected an edifice of stucco work, 56 feet in length and 35 feet in width, with a spire 120 feet in height, about three-fourths of a mile north of the old meeting house. It was finished in the summer of 1856, and in September of that year 25 persons who had been dismissed from the First Church for the purpose of organizing a new church, called a council of pastors and delegates from the neighboring churches.
They were constituted a Christian church under the name and title of the Union Congregational Church of East Hampton, CT.
The new church flourished during the religious revival of the 1860s, but attendance later declined and the church closed its doors in 1880. In the 1880s, the building was used by various town groups for meetings and entertainments. Around 1890, Swedish immigrants, who had been working at the Portland brownstone quarries, began settling in East Hampton. In 1898 they purchased the former Union Congregational Church, which was rededicated as the Bethlehem Lutheran Church. The church is mentioned in an article entitled “The Town of Chatham,” (Chatham was renamed East Hampton in 1915) that appeared in The Connecticut Magazine, Volume V, Number. 6, June, 1899.
The Lutherans of Swedish descent having become quite numerous in this place have for some time held services in private houses. The service is conducted by Rev. L. P. Ahlquist of Portland, one of the foremost of the Swedish Lutheran ministers in the United States. The Lutheran communicants of East Hampton have recently purchased the edifice which was once used by the Union Congregational Church, at the corner of Main and High Streets, renovated it, and dedicated it as the place of their worship, Sunday, May 14, 1899, with impressive services. These recent comers from the northern part of Europe are like the last preceding mentioned [Irish Catholics], giving the native-born citizens good examples in the neat appearance of their church and its surroundings.
The Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church‘s appearance has been altered over the years. The rear parish hall was built in 1957. The church’s exterior fieldstone walls were refinished in 1978 to resemble sandstone blocks. The original steeple was removed in 1888 and replaced. The current steeple was erected within the last 30 years.
About the Lutheran Faith
Always transforming, growing, and learning, the members of the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in East Hampton, Connecticut are always eager to hear God’s word of grace; and daring enough to try to live out Jesus’ command to love God and our neighbor. As Lutherans, they believe that we are saved by faith apart from works (Romans 3:28). That faith is a gift from God and nothing we can earn. Any good works we do, are done by the grace of God, and in response to God’s grace.
East Hampton, CT
Notable East Hampton Landmarks
The Comstock Covered Bridge is located on 14 Bridge Street at the junction of Colchester and East Hampton crossing the Salmon River.
Nelson’s Family Campground is located in the heart of central Connecticut. Whether for the day, week, month or season, the campground is an ideal place to camp, relax and enjoy the great outdoor life with your friends and family.
Air Line Trail
The Old Air Line Trail in East Hampton dates from the 1870s, and today draws walkers, horseback riders and bikers for the views, the relaxation and the solitude.
Sears Park is situated on Lake Pocotopaug the park was donated to the Town in 1910 by the Sears family. The Park, Pavilion and Willian O’Neill Performing Arts Gazebo are located at 68 North Main Street in East Hampton, Connecticut
Lake Pocotopaug is a big part of East Hampton’s History and in recent times has become a popular resort area surrounded by numerous homes
Enjoy scenic views of the Connecticut River while surrounded by nature. Activities at Hurd Park include birding, hiking, mountain biking, picnicking, and camping. Parking is available at the intersection of 151 and Hurd Park Road.
Welcome to the Official East Hampton, CT Historical Society Website. This site intends to provide information to the public about the Chatham Historical Society’s upcoming Calendar Events and Programs with the purpose of bringing together people interested in the History of Cobalt, Middle Haddam, and East Hampton, Connecticut.
Follow us on Social Media