Photo of "North Street Brick Meetinghouse west of Sherwood NY" -
The Brick Friends Meeting House was built ca 1834 west of Sherwood NY
on Brick Church Road. It was sold in 1906. A copy of a quit
claim deed reserves the cemetery in the Town of Ledyard NY; (deed Book U
Res. Deeds, pg 577 - March 5, 1906). It is presently a private residence
and is the Friends Meeting House that the Howlands
of North Street Preparative Meeting (Orthodox), part of Scipio Monthly Meeting
3 Mo. 14, 1833 committee appointed on the building of a new meetinghouse (and continued over the next year)
2 Mo. 6, 1834 to build a little north west of the Augustus Howland, $1600 subscribed
3 Mo. 13, 1834 Noah Dennis and Benjamin Gould to build meetinghouse
"Lot for the meeting house is to contain 1 1/2 acres & to be paid for, a suitable portion is to be prepared by proper fencing & draining for a burial ground for this preparative meeting. The whole lot is to be properly fenced. Good horse sheds are to be made of at least two hundred feet total length. Other requisite out buildings & enclosures are to be well made. The meeting house is to be faithfully [pretty sure that is the word] built of brick & about the size of North Street meeting house. The outside of the house & the inside, except the stairs, the galleries above them & the room, if any, over the entry, are to be finished. Neither this meeting nor any of its members are to be called upon for any further contributions towards the building described."
12 Mo. 11, 1834 "Having for sometime been deprived of our meeting house at our usual time by those who have separated from us subjecting us to much inconvenience particularly on first days we have thought best to build one 1 1/2 mile west of Sheerwood Corners and it now being ready to occupy we propose to hold our next meeting there."
*The above information
is provided by:
|Excerpts from an Emily Howland letter
to Miss Putnam below:
January 8, 1908
Dear Miss Putnam:
Fannie Slocum has just been in and brought a book, "The Record of the North Preparative Meeting", extending back as far as 1819. You know the North Street Meeting is the brick meeting where you have often gone. This one-time sanctuary of the Friends has been sold to the persons to whom the land would have reverted, Geo. and Charles Howland, and will be converted into a barn. I find a great deal of the history of my early life centers in that meeting house. Perhaps one of the most important occasions was an anti-slavery convention which must have been held there about 1843. Abbie Kelly not then married, in the prime of her youth and beauty spoke with eloquence. Others were there, among these John Collins afterwards one of the founders of a community near Skaneateles, Thomas McClintock and his daughters were there and many others of the fine people of that time. That meeting house was rather the store center for reformers, there was much more freedom of speech there than there ever was in the South Street meeting, because David Thomas and Susan Marriott and my father were active abolitionists as well as leading members of the meeting. While at the South Street Meeting House, Job Otis was president, he having a brother-in-law in Louisiana who was a large slave holder and, naturally narrow and bigoted, had no use for anti-slavery lectures, and that house was kept intact from them. I remember James Fuller, you remember the little English Friend, who always wore knee breeches, was to give an address in that house on slavery, and when the speaker and some others arrived they found the house barred and bolted; nothing daunted, a window was raised, I think James himself crawled through it, unbolted
the door on the inside, and so the audience assembled and held their meeting. Those were thrilling, mentally active times in this country. Compared with them now this is a very stupid period, albeit we may have improved in several things; the struggle to improve caused intense activity and brightening of the mind in that time. The old Brick meeting house has been the theatre of a variety of doings. Harriet Hunt whom you remember was one of the earliest physicians in this country, once gave a lecture there, about which I remember nothing except that a young woman who was one of her hearers thought some of her allusions to maternity were immodest. I also remember her fat dipplied hands and her little fat figure. She was a bright lovable woman and I think wrote a gossipy readable autobiography of herself, which I had the pleasure of reading long ago. During the war a sewing circle met there and sewed for contrabands; and in 1844 the Poplar Ridge Seminary which I was attending held its closing exercises there. There also, when Wm. L. Chaplin was arrested and in prison for the attempted rescue of Mary and Emily Edmondson, a large meeting was held, and among other things it was resolved to present him with a silver pitcher duly inscribed, as a testimonial to him for the noble deed for which he was suffering .The money for this pitcher was to be contributed, a dime from each donor.Your humble servant was appointed one of the collectors. The sum was sent to Pheobe Hathaway of Macedon. The pitcher was purchased and presented. In due time it was inherited by his daughter Theodosia, who passed suddenly to the beyond in April. Her husband, an Episcopal clergyman and I have exchanged some letters about where the pitcher should be placed. I wrote him that since the interest and the money were from Western N.Y. I thought that the University of Rochester or Cornell would be a fitting place for such an historical piece. He is inclined to give it to the City of Worcester I think. Because it was the original home of the Chaplins, he thought it would be more appreciated there, and had been solicited to dispose of it in that way. I suppose he has his own wish in regard to it.
Within these walls have I witnessed many weddings and many funerals, and hundreds of hours have I sat on the hard seats as motionless as the sphinx in perfect silence and sometimes when there was speaking I thought that "silence was golden and speech silver". The social life in the lobby before and after meeting was the best part of it. There was Edna Thomas, rosy, her face handsome. She often brought me a bouquet in the season of flowers and as she was an abolitionist as well as a believer in women's rights, we often had heart-to-heart chats, therefore, I enjoyed meting her more than any other person whom I met there. Yet more, she never wore an _expression of reproof and rebuke, as many of the elder friends did when they met any of us younger members. The rebuke was not always limited, but expressed itself in words, and sometimes when the bonnet rose skyward too high, as the fashion of those days required, a reproving hand would be raised to press the lofty front down to a lower level. This was a kind of freedom that was decidedly exasperating to the victim and made an unpleasant impression that must endure as long as life lasts. They knew not what they did; they thought they were doing their duty; they permitted their lives to run in such narrow grooves that instead of enforcing the value of high moral sentiments, they put all of their emphasis on their peculiarities, which give no reason for their strenuous enforcement of saying "thee " instead of "you". except that it was the rule of their society. When the rule was made, it had a meaning as we all know, as well as the prefixes Mr. and Mrs., they being distinction as denoting superiority of station. Friends did not consider such distinctions right. This meaning had long been obsolete, still they enforced their rule with great rigidity. It used to seem to me that they said more about it than they did about what was really wrong. And so the meeting house has become a barn.
I anticipate looking through the old book with great pleasure. I think there is not a human being living in this country, now that brother William is gone, except myself, who would know that many of the persons mentioned on these pages had ever lived here. Such is human life.
Source: Transcript from typescript in possession of Quaker historian Jane Simkin, as keeper of historical materials for the Poplar RidgeFriends Meeting. The letter was from materials that individuals have given to Poplar Ridge Friends Meeting
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