Church of the Epiphany – History of Buildings and Grounds

1843-1867 – The Organization of the Parish

For the first 25 years, the founding group of the Episcopal Church in Southbury met at Bullet Hill School for services, choosing the name The Church of the Resurrection.

1857 – The Gift of the Property

The present ¾ acre site, formerly the home of Shadrach Osborn, was deeded to the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut by Frederick D. Harriman.  The deed stated it was for a church edifice for the worship of God, a dwelling for a priest, a church school and in accordance with the discipline, orders and doctrines, worship and government of the Church now known as the Protestant Episcopal Church.

1858 – The Renaming of the Church

The name was officially changed to The Church of the Epiphany.

1864-1867 – The Construction of the Sanctuary

The cornerstone of the church was laid in 1863 with granite from the quarry in Roxbury.  The interior of the church was built with chestnut and oak. Four years later, the Rt. Rev. John Williams consecrated the building.  A 1916 newpaper clipping states the tower was added about 30 years earlier. No bell was installed at that time.

1957 – The Relocation of the Driveway

A new driveway was opened on the north side of the church.  Prior to this a southside right of way provided the only access to the building.

1963 – The Construction of the Parish House

A groundbreaking service for a Parish House was held on July 28th to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone.  The past seven years had been more active than any earlier period and the need for a parish house including a kitchen was important to serve the parish and the community.  The Rev. Mr. Pearson was the Priest-in-Charge, Rector of St. Paul’s, Woodbury, and the architect for the Parish House. Byron Hudges of Wolcott was the building contractor.

1965 – The Appointment of a Vicar

A vicar, by diocesan decree, was placed at Epiphany.  An apartment and then a house were rented for his residence.

1967 – The Purchase of the Rectory

A house on Bucks Hill Road was purchased for the priest-in-charge who had been called.  This residence was sold in 1985.

1977 – The Construction of the Rector’s Study and Sacristy

This addition directly behind the east end of the church connected the Rector’s study to the parish hall and incorporated an enclosure from the church to the Parish Hall.  Part of the addition provided a new, enlarged Sacristy connected to the study and to the enclosure for easy access to the church.

1980-1981 – The Expansion of the Parish House

A dormer roof extension across the rear of the Parish House turned an unused second floor into an additional 1800 square feet of classroom space, a small library, storage areas and rest rooms.  The Rt. Rev. Clarence Coleridge led the dedication of the new addition on October 21, 1981.

1983 – The Placement of the Bell

A bell was hung in the bell tower, 100 years after the tower was built.  Dorothy and Robert Emison donated the church bell in 1979; it came from Scotland.  The donors were not allowed to be known until after their deaths.  (Their names were confirmed by granddaughter Julia Emison Harmon in a visit to the church on 9/8/18.)

1985 – The Purchase of the Adjoining Property

By vote of the Parish the offer of the Nicholson family to sell their 4.5-5 acre property to the Church of the Epiphany was accepted.  There was a need for additional parking area and the south and east properties offered no opportunities for expansion. On the property was a Federal style house; Erastus Osborn added this front part to this original “salt-box” sometime between 1790-1840.  Now the two Osborn properties were reunited. After the purchase, renovations were made to the house and it became the Rectory for the Church of the Epiphany. A large parking area was developed in the rear which connected to the former parking area.

2007 – The Restoration of the Bell Tower

When the Epiphany tower was restored in 2007, workers discarded several large oak beams that had decayed so as to become structurally unsound. Carl Strange saved one of these, and with Pete Passeck's help turned it into the rough processional cross for use during Lent.  The cross is displayed in the passageway when not in use.  The tower beam from which this cross comes was sawn in 1881. The modern steel plate and screws were distressed by heating and rapid cooling.

2017 – The Sale of the Rectory

The rectory was sold on August 27, 2017.