Old Brick Church Cemetery

  • Jeannine Woutersz - Town Historian

Picture: This house, built by Stafford Carr, remained in the family until the early 1099’s. It still stands on the corner of Gailor and Northern Pines Roads. It was operated as a tourist home for many years, quite successfully because of its location on the main road to Glens Falls. Now privately owned, the house has been restored in recent years.

The Old Brick Church cemetery has always been a calming retreat for me. It is quite secluded surrounded on three sides by woods, with the entrance on Northern Pines. In 2003, when my assistant, Betty and I recorded the stones, we looked forward to some peaceful hours recording and recollecting the family histories of some of the founders of the Wilton community.

The church was built on the south end of the present cemetery. The Baptist Society had been here before the Town was incorporated. They had some of their first meetings in the Union Meeting house, built in 1805 at Emerson’s Corners, now Gurn Springs near exit #16. The meeting house was non-sectarian, so the Baptist’s Methodist’s and other religious and political groups met frequently and peacefully coexisted until the Baptist’s built the Brick Church in c. 1850.

Stafford Carr, Deacon Lockwood and Stafford Carr Jr. were the Trustees to the building. Stafford Carr donated the land for the cemetery and he and most of his family are buried there.

The first and only resident pastor was the Rev. Ransom O. Dwyer, who entered the Civil War as a chaplain of the Second Veteran Calvary. He died in 1864, at New Orleans, and buried in the National Cemetery there. The Society was served by circuit ministers, sharing the areas of Greenfield. Jamesville?, Milton and Corinth. The Baptist Society held a 50th Anniversary of the Dedication of the Wilton Baptist Church at the Brick Church on August 31, 1901.

The last minister to the church was Elder R.D. Andrews, who served faithfully for nearly 40 years, to the time of his death.

The building was home to many activities. Many old time singing groups, the Lodge of Good Templars and occasionally, political meetings were held in the Old Brick Church.

The church was dismantled in 1935, and the wonderful Maneeley bell was installed at the Old Union Meeting house, which had taken on a new life as the Wilton Town Hall. The Town Hall burned in 1973, but the bell was salvaged and is on display at the Wilton Heritage Society.

The Baptist Church still flourishes in Wilton, in their new church on Route 9, with a large, active congregation. The new Wilton Baptist Church building was dedicated on July 27, 2008.