The Old Stone Chapel is one of the most significant, historic buildings in Jefferson County. An early example of Gothic architecture, the layout follows classic 18th-century church design, featuring a square belfry built over a columned portico. Elisha Camp and other citizens of the village organized the project, with the church to be built on land donated by Frederick White.
Construction on what was then known as Christ Episcopal Church began in 1823, with the cornerstone of the building laid on May 24th. Local Masonic Temple members assisted in the groundbreaking ceremony. Square quoins were used to reinforce and accent corners and window openings. A major feature of the architectural design is use of the Gothic arch, among the first noted uses of that style here in the North Country, foreshadowing the approaching Greek Revival Movement. The building also features a great Doric portico, topped with a steeple with its original bell.
The first service was held on Christmas of 1823 in an unfinished building under the stars, and the building was completed in 1832. The first organ was purchased in 1832, and the church was consecrated in 1833. Besides notable Sackets Harbor residents, the Church had nationally-known congregants such as Ulysses S. Grant, Fiorello LaGuardia, and Francis Bible.
Services were held until the building suffered substantial damage in 2008. That damage was repaired and other work on the building was completed in 2012. In February of 2021, the Historical Society purchased Christ Episcopal Church from the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York. In order to distinguish the building from its former specific, ecclesiastic use, we have renamed it the “Old Stone Chapel.”
Rehabilitation of the Old Stone Chapel
The initial work on the building will include painting and repairs to the exterior woodwork, installation of a restroom with water and sewer lines, replacement of the ADA access ramp and doorway, painting, window repair, and weatherization of the steeple.
We will have to do substantial fundraising to pay for all of the necessary rehabilitation work. The estimated project budget is:
- Exterior Painting and Repairs: $40,000
- Restroom and water/sewer lines: $28,000
- ADA access ramp and entryway: $33,000
- Weatherization of steeple: $26,000
- Window repair $29,000
- Other repairs: $20,000
Use as a Community Cultural Center
The purpose for acquiring the church is to preserve this extremely significant historic building and open it as a community cultural center. It’s our intent to preserve both the interior and exterior of the building to the greatest extent possible. Although that presents certain limitations on its use. We hope to use it, and offer it for community use, of any type suitable to its history and configuration.
The Old Stone Chapel is currently available for weddings, lectures, and other special events. To make a booking for a wedding, please download our Old Stone Chapel Wedding Form, complete it, and return it to us by mail or email at email@example.com.
For more information or to make a booking for other types of events, please Contact Us.