ARTIFACTS, including digitized pamphlets, brochures, tickets, photographs, paintings, etchings, images, and memorabilia of the parish.
For more on the ongoing effort of archivists at Trinity, see the Trinity Episcopal Church Historical Archive Facebook page. There you will find lectures or “Trinity Discovery Story” videos on artifacts from Trinity’s archive.
Below are some of the artifacts relating to Trinity Church.
1. Trinity Church Home was incorporated in 1862. A distinguished board of trustees, led by Rev. Dr. Harwood,was appointed to govern it. In 1868, it moved to a location on George Street, which now houses the Salvation Army. From this point to 1791, it was located in five different locations sponsor a home for elderly women – something necessary in the days before social security and women in the work place. Published versions of the bylaws, board members, and governing rules were published a number of time over the years.
► Trinity Church Home 1873 (image scanned by Trinity History Ministry from Archive copy)
► Trinity Church Home 1894 (image scanned by the University of California
►Trinity Church Home 1924 (image scanned by Trinity History Ministry from Archive copy)
► Trinity Church Home 1948. This is a transcription of a short pamphlet on the “Charter, Extract from Constitution, By-Laws of the Almoners, Rules for the Government of the Home, History of the Home, Extract from Deed of Trust, and Form of Bequest” by Mrs. Timothy Pickering, Privately Printed Trinity Church, New Haven, 1948. The Home was established in May 1852 as a refuge for “the poor and friendless members of Trinity Parish, and such others as the board of managers may think entitled to its benefits”. Some handwritten edits were added on June 27, 1949, to revise the charter, and the end page has this handwritten postscript: “Charter under Rev. Mr. Harwood, May 1762, The most learned perhaps and colorful rector Trinity ever had. Great work of Mrs. Timothy Pickering (Sudly?) Bryn Mawr and Friendships, CKE”.
► Trinity Home 2012. This contains an introduction and Timeline, as well as a transcription and update to the 1948 booklet with proceeds going to Trinity Chuch; you may also purchase a copy by at Amazon.com.
2. The Letters of Harry Croswell. An amusing series of letters purportedly from the Ghost of Harry Croswell, the acerbic Rector of Trinity from 1815 to 1858 “to my dear people” of Trinity Church. The letters are actually the work of Edward J. Getlein, Trinity’s Historian, thespian, wit, and author of Here Will I Dwell: A History of Trinity Church On-The-Green, New Haven, Connecticut, 1976. Trinity’s Historian the late Ed Getlein began editing these letters in 1979 as a regular column in the Parish Newsletter Still Small Voice.
3. Bible “Tickets” — A printed parchment sheet with scripture passages on the front side, and instructions for its use on the back side. According to the Archives of the National Church, the Diocese of Connecticut met on November 24, 1813 at Trinity Church in New Haven to discuss the election of a Bishop.
This souvenir was hand-typeset and (according to the instructions on the back) intended to be cut into small “tickets” to be pasted into one’s Bible, presumably for the attendees of the Convention. The “ticket” recommends reading 1 Corinthians ii.13 — Ephesians vi. 17 — John xvii.17 — John xiv.26– John xvi.13. On the back are instructions: “With a wafer, or a little paste, attach this ticket to the lid of your Bible. Thanks to Joe Dzeda for sharing this bit of rescued history with us.
4. Trinity Church on the Green, New Haven, Connecticut Marriage Records, 1768 – 1800, with an analysis of the data. This transcribed table of 186 marriage records reveals a number of interesting historical facts. Why were the most popular months in the late eighteenth century New Haven to marry in the winter? And why did the sailor James Ellis marry a girl named Cook? One of the editors of this text discovered why her own daughter was named Statyra.
5. Harry Croswell lays down a distinct line between Church and State with his seminal A Sermon Preached at the Anniversary Election,Hartford, May 14, 1818, By the Rev. Harry Croswell, A.M., Rector of Trinity Church, New-Haven.
6. Trinity Goes to War with 1943 Booklet. At the height of World War II, Trinity printed a pamphlet giving the history, organization, groups and parish directory. It notes that the church was founded by Rev. Dr. Samuel Johnson (but gives the date of 1732 instead of 1727/8), and lists some of the rectors and major events. Among other things, it informs us that Trinity had a Rector Lawson Willard Jr., Rector Emeritus Charles O. Scoville, two assistant rectors, Vicar Frederick Williams of All Saints Chapel, an Organist and an Assistant, a Parish Visitor, a Parish Secretary, Church Sexton, Parish House Sexton and a Director of Physical Education. They collected bandages and food for the troops, and joined in a World Wide Communion Sunday on October 3, 1943.
This artifact, preserved by Trinity History Ministry member Carol Davidson, is a 3.5 x 7 inch booklet titled “TRINITY CHURCH, New Haven, Connecticut – that you may know and take part” was accompanied with an insert, with “A Special Invitation” to World Wide Communion service to be held on October 3, 1943 on one side, and a reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper on the other. The Special Invitation was to a service to bear witness “in these days of war” in army camps and naval bases, on shipboard, in churches large and small, to the unbroken and unbreakable fellowship of Christians around the world.
7.Trinity Players Program c. 1937. In the 1930s The Trinity Players was a thriving community theater group with plays at the parish house, now Whitney Humanities Center. In this program of three one act plays, Clarence D. Johnson directed The Valiant by Holworthy Hall and Roberty Middlemass, Thursday Evening, by Christopher Morley, and The Marriage Proposal by Anton “Tchekoff”; he also started in the play by Checkov.
One of the three, The Valiant, written in 1921 was serious and is still today deeply moving. The play opens with a Warden and a prison Chaplain discussing a unnamed prisoner 30 minutes prior to his execution for murder. Due to the publicity this case has received, thousands of letters have been written and phone calls made asking who this man is. The two men decide to bring the prisoner to the Warden’s office to try one last time to discover the man’s identity, but the prisoner is determined to take his secret to the grave. Suddenly, a strange young woman comes to the prison requesting to see him; she has come with the hope of finding her long lost brother. The two people, one doomed to death and one doomed to acknowledge death, share a story of sacrifice. The play concludes with a line from Shakespeare as the man is lead to his death: “Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once.”
Thursday Evening is a comedy and The Marriage Proposal is a farce, but still the theater group taking on these plays was bold and impressive: the theater group seems to have gone inactive during the second world war. It was not until 1975 that Rev. Robert Sandine resurrected the Players as two groups – the community theater The Something Player, performing in the parish hall until it was sold in 1980, and thereafter in various local spaces and the Eli Whitney Barn, and Trinity Players performing sermon or liturgical dramas as part of the worship service at Trinity Church.
8. Parish House 9:15 Sunday School Trifold Pamphlets (compressed). These three pamphlets, each with six pictures, describe the Sunday School at 53 Wall Street at the 9:15 service in 1967-68, 1968-69, and 1969-70. They contain descriptions of classes and teachers, celebrating the 151st, 152nd, and 153rd years of Trinity Church Sunday School. For an uncompressed image (which may take some time to load) select Parish House 9:15 Sunday School Trifold Pamphlets (uncompressed).
9. The Churchman Magazine on November 10, 1906, (p. 722) printed an article “Repairing Historic Trinity Church, New Haven, Conn.”, reproduced here in full:
“Fifty to seventy thousand dollars are being expended on historic Trinity church, New Haven, Conn. The location of Trinity on the city’s green, with two Congregational neighbors, is unique. It is central, but that is about the only advantage, for thirty years of negotiation were necessary to secure the little plot, 20 by 40 feet, on which space the chancel stands, and even now, were the church to burn, a new location might have to be secured. The church was completed in 1814. For many years the gallery supports have appeared to be defective, and recent examination showed the roof to be in some danger of falling. Since July repairs have been in progress, and it may be February before they will be completed. An unusual framework of steel, somewhat like that of the modern office building, is being put in to support both gallery and roof. A new organ, having parts in chancel and gallery, is to be put in place, and a ceiling in place of a former defective one, will be constructed and then the entire Interior decorated. The Rev. C. O. Scoville is acting rector for a term of two years, ending at Easter, 1908, and a new curate, the Rev. H. P. Sterrett, late of St. George’s, New York, has just entered upon work. Trinity parish was given during the year a fine old mansion’ on Elm street, fronting the Green, with $12,000 to alter It into a parish house. It was the gift of Mrs. Lucy H. Boardman, whose death occurred last spring, and who had previously given the rectory to the parish. The cost of the changes In the parish house will be $30,000, and so work has not begun, pending the completion of changes in the church. The present parish house in Temple street, which is not large enough, will be rented after the new one is ready for use. Trinity congregation is worshiping with St. Thomas’s parish in Elm street, until Trinity church is reopened.”