Beacon Street Diary

Archives: September 2017

September 21, 2017

On the final day of summer, we are pleased to bring you this guest post from our most recent archival intern.

This past summer I traveled through time at the Congregational Library & Archives. They gave me the opportunity of professional growth through hands-on learning that allowed my mind's eye to witness the human and financial cost of war, and discover personal stories of victims and survivors.  This was possible through processing the records from the American Committee for Relief in the Near East.

booklets on Armenia in the ACRNE collection

Another stop in the timeline of history brought me to the second half of the 1900s, where the activities of the Bay State Congregational Women's Fellowship allowed my mind to wonder through the changes in our country and culture.

I must confess, processing these two collections set my mind into writer's gear, where both learning history and creating narratives formed the perfect combination of inspiration and motivation to continue working in archives. I saw the world of possibilities each archival collection offers for interdisciplinary studies and research.

Now that the fall semester is starting we are sharing with classmates our internship experiences and I find myself recalling the fulfillment I felt during this internship. I thank the CLA and its archivists for this amazing experience.

—Maria Leighton
summer 2017 archival intern

September 13, 2017

We are excited to announce the the availability of two new collections in our New England's Hidden Histories program. Both are from towns close to us here in eastern Massachusetts.


Hopkinton, Mass. First Congregational Church

The Church of Christ in Hopkinton first gathered on September 2, 1724. The church began with 14 members and by the end of the first ministry, the church had 376 members. The First Parish of Hopkinton was organized in 1827, and The Church of Christ of Hopkinton was incorporated in 1895 and reincorporated in 1928.

The church's first meeting house was raised in December of 1725. In 1731 the church voted to observe the Cambridge Platform of Church Discipline, which meant adopting a congregational form of governance. In 1829 the meeting house was sold, and a new church building was built. However, this building was destroyed by a fire in 1882. A new edifice was built in the same location and dedicated in 1883. This building was also destroyed by a hurricane in 1938. The fourth building was constructed in the same location in 1939. On October 2, 1994 the congregation voted to leave the United Church of Christ denomination due to theological differences. In 1997, the current church building was constructed in order to accommodate expanding membership. In September 2011 the name of the church was officially changed to Faith Community Church. They are still active today. More information can be found on their website.

Included in these records are confessions of faith; church meeting minutes; reports; and lists of marriages, baptisms, deaths, and dismissions.


Pembroke, Mass. First Church

The earliest history of the First Church in Pembroke can be traced to the early 18th century. The First Church in Pembroke was organized October 22, 1712 and its first minister, Daniel Lewis, was ordained December 3, 1712. Under Lewis the parish flourished and in 1727 a larger, meeting house was built. The third meeting house was erected by the end of 1837. It continues today as a vibrant congregation.

These records document the early history and life of the church, including membership lists, administrative and financial records, and church correspondence.


Special Thanks

This digital resource has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this resource do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

September 1, 2017

The Congregational Library & Archives will be closed on Monday, September 4th in observance of Labor Day.

All of our online resources will be available as usual. If you have questions for the staff, please send an email or leave a voicemail, and we'll get back to you when we return to the office on Tuesday.