1859: The Little Chapel on Chapel Street
For the first few years the fledgling congregation met in rented rooms in the Village Hall. In 1856, they decided to build their own chapel. The men of the church were tasked with overseeing the construction of the new building, while the women of the newly formed Friendly Society raised the funds to pay for it.
The Friendly Society raised the money for the chapel, which was completed in 1859 and cost some $1500 to build, through:
- The sale of 250 hand sewn denim overalls: $125.10
- Funds raised at the 1859 Fall Festival: $253.17
- A private loan from Charles Keith, a charter member of both the new Evangelical Congregational Church and the Religious Society established to support it financially: $300.00
- Private donations: Priceless
(No really, no records remain of these, except for a notation that Mrs. Abigail Mills was the first to contribute.)
Source: The History of the Evangelical Congregational Church of Needham, Massachusetts as compiled by Edmund W. Trowbridge, Church Historian, 1957.