historical society forms, buys old Trinity Epsicopal Parish building
In towns and villages across the country historic buildings are
rapidly disappearing. Jefferson has seen it's fair share of historic
buildings disappear. One only has to look at the old village maps
to see the changes that have taken place over the many years.
In summer of 2005 Jefferson was in danger of losing yet another
historic building, the Trinity Episcopal Church located on East
Jefferson Street. The tiny church was originally built by parishioners
in 1876 and remodeled in 1895.
An addition to the building was added in 1961 to accommodate a
Sunday School and kitchen. The church also contained a huge M.P.
Moller organ built in 1873.
The building was bought by The Henderson Memorial Library in 1999
to give the library room to expand in the future. In 2005 the library
could no longer afford the upkeep on the building, and there was
strong opposition from the community to sell the building to someone
outside the village.
The Henderson Memorial Library Board asked for proposals for on
what to do with the building in the summer and fall of 2005.
The board was hoping that an organization would either buy the
building and the land or buy the building and move is from the
property. There were a few offers but none that satisfied both
the purchaser's and the library's requirements.
In November of 2005 the board decided to put the Trinity Church
and its land up for sale to the public in general. The organ was
also placed for sale on an internet site.
At the same time a group of concerned citizens from Jefferson
and the surround areas joined together to start the Jefferson Historical
Jefferson residents and historians Norma Waters and Barbara Hamilton
were elected president and vice president of the new society. Jean
Carlson was elected secretary.
The first action by the new society was to save the Trinity Church
and its organ. Donations poured into the society from everywhere
New members were added to the rolls daily.
On Nov. 18 the organ was sold to a New Jersey man who dismantled
the historic instrument and moved it to his home.
On Dec. 2 Henderson Library Board hired a real estate agent to
sell the building.
It gave the Jefferson Historical Society 45 days to become an
officially tax exempt, non-profit organization and raise enough
money to purchase the historical church. After the 45 days were
up the society or any other group interested in purchasing the
building would have to go through the real estate agent.
Just a few days before the deadline of Jan. 15 the Jefferson Historical
Society was granted their tax exempt status and was able to raise
enough money to make the first payment on the Trinity Church.
An easement was granted to the library to expand its driveway
into the Trinity Church property.
Although the organ is gone, the church still has its original
stain glass windows, wood floor and original pews.
The plan is to restore the front of the church and us it as place
to educate the public and tourists about the rich history in Jefferson
and the surround areas.
The back of the building will be used to house a research library
and display historical items.
The historical society has already had offers of historical photographs
and other memorabilia for the church.
A stain glass expert has offered to look at the unusual windows
and plan for special events and other activities are already scheduled
months in advance, including a reenactment of the Wade/Woodbury