Mead Memorial Chapel, 2 Chapel Road

c. 1905 (dedicated in 1907, rededicated in 1957)
Privately owned by Mead Memorial Chapel, Inc.

2012

2012

The Chapel was built by Sarah Frances Studwell Mead as a place of family worship in memory of her husband, George Washington Mead and his ancestors who had lived in Waccabuc.  You can visit their headstones in the Mead family cemetery on Mead Street, near the entrance to Hunt Farm Road.

The building was designed in the English Gothic style by Hobart B. Upjohn, a member of a distinguished family of architects from New York City. Much of the materials, the stone and timbers, came from the area wood lands. Other supplies came from New York by railroad and were transported from Goldens Bridge to the site by horse-drawn wagons. Joseph Mead supervised the build­ing which was done largely by Italian immigrant workers.

The chancel furnishings, stained glass windows, Estey pipe organ, baptismal font, oak cathedral chairs, and the Meneely bell (still working!) in the tower were separate gifts of Sarah Frances’ children.  The Estey organ was replaced by a Hammond electric organ in July 1947. The organ was donated by Arcie Lubetkin in memory of William Matheus Sullivan of Ridgefield and dedicated the following September by Dr. David Williams, organist at St. Bartholmew’s Church, Park Avenue, New York City.  It is a significant piece of Chapel heritage, and there are not many Hammond organs of similar vintage still around these days! A commemorative plaque on the organ, recording the gift, states: ‘Remembrance. The only paradise from which we cannot be driven.’

View from Chapel Road

View from Chapel Road

The Hammond organ

The Hammond organ

One of the chancel stained glass windows

One of the chancel stained glass windows

Oak cathedral chairs

Oak cathedral chairs

Children’s choir for Christmas Eve carol service

Children’s choir for Christmas Eve carol service

Click to see full size

The Chapel was dedicated June 20, 1907, by the Rev. Charles Cuthbert Hall, president of the Union Theological Seminary, New York, and Rev. Gaylord S. White, both family friends. It was rededicated in 1957.  For many years the summer pastor was Dr. Ernest R. Palen of the Middle Collegiate Church, New York. Alice Mead Neergaard was the organist from the time the Chapel was dedicated.

The Chapel was open for vesper services every Sunday at 4:30pm during summers until 1965.  Due to declining attendance by Mead family members, the Trustees of the Chapel elected in 1970 to suspend these vesper services.  Since that time, the Chapel has continued as privately-owned, available to family, friends and members of the nearby community for christenings, weddings, memorial services and the occasional secular event.  A Christmas candlelight service on Christmas Eve was begun in 1933 and still continues to the present.

An ongoing concert/event series was initiated in 2005. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.

A drinking fountain in a retaining wall behind the Chapel (see Tredinock)

A drinking fountain in a retaining wall behind the Chapel (see Tredinock)

Waccabuc House Stable - future site of Mead Memorial Chapel

Waccabuc House Stable - future site of Mead Memorial Chapel

This photo was taken sometime before addition of the adjacent Mead Memorial Hall in 1929.  The Hall houses some of the Mead family records, photos and mementos.  The Hall also serves as the meeting place for the annual board meetings of the Mead Memorial Chapel, Inc. trustees.

This photo was taken sometime before addition of the adjacent Mead Memorial Hall in 1929.  The Hall houses some of the Mead family records, photos and mementos.  The Hall also serves as the meeting place for the annual board meetings of the Mead Memorial Chapel, Inc. trustees.

      2013 view from Chapel Road

      2013 view from Chapel Road

2016

2016

To contact the Mead Chapel, visit meadmemorialchapel.org. In addition to interesting information and history, the "Contact Us" page has a link to the family geneology, in card format.