Mead Memorial Chapel, 2 Chapel Road
c. 1905 (dedicated in 1907, rededicated in 1957)
Privately owned by Mead Memorial Chapel, Inc.
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.’
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.
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.
EXPLORE THE OTHER PROPERTIES
1. Mead Cemetery, 2. The Gaard House, 33 Mead Street, 3. The Hunt Homes, 20 & 24 Mead Street, 4. The Homestead, 36 Mead Street, 5. The Cider Mill, 8 Schoolhouse Road, 6. Schoolhouses on Schoolhouse Road, 7. Old Field Preserve, 8. Elmdon, 49 Mead Street, 9. The Gilbert House, 68 Mead Street, 10. Waccabuc Country Club, 90 Mead Street , 11. The Waccabuc Post Office, 2 Post Office Road, 12. The Orchard House, 12 Post Office Road, 13. The Studwell House, 107 Mead Street, 14. Pinecroft Preserve, 15. Pine Croft Farm, 102 Mead Street, 16. Croft Farm, 106 Mead Street, 17. Tarry-A-Bit, 8 Tarry-a-Bit Road, 18. The Bungalow Club, 19. Long Pond Preserve, 20. The Waccabuc Hotel, 21. Fair Acre, 4 Chapel Road, 22. Lakeview, 14 Chapel Road, 23. Jared Mead House, 55 Chapel Road, 24. Mead Memorial Chapel, 2 Chapel Road, 25. Hendy Hap, 152 Mead Street, 26. Tredinock, 163 Mead Street, 27. Meeko, 166 Mead Street, 28. The Cahoone House, 181 Mead Street, 29. Lake Waccabuc, 30. Franklin markers