The Building of Zion Church

In July 1817, a committee formed consisting of Jacob Morris, Pascal Franchot, Volkart P. Renssselaer, Martin Noble and Benjamin Davis was appointed to make contract with Horatio T. McGeorge for building a stone church for $5,000 ($102,500 today). The land was given by Jacob Morris. The corner stone was laid in spring of 1818 and the building completed in November of the same year. The stone was quarried locally, while the lime for the mortar was hauled from up Ilion way. The total weight of the lime exceeded the sum of the stone. The building was completed so quickly and satisfactorily, that the Vestry voted an extra $500 ($10,250) for McGeorge over and above the original contract.

Photograph by Ashel Avery – before 1868

The church consisted of the current nave with the hall and vestibules. The pulpit was in the middle with a large sounding board over it. On the left winding stairs led up to it from behind a reading desk, and on the right was a white marble top altar.

Painting by Ashel Avery Zion Church before 1868

The congregation voted to change the name to Zion and the building was consecrated on November 22 1812, 1820, by Rt Rev. Henry Hobart. This was the first visitation of a Bishop to the area. At that time, the New York Diocese covered all of New York State, Bishop Hobart’s efforts to expand the Episcopal Church in upstate New York is a story in and of itself. He favored the name “Zion” which explains why the numerous Zion churches in New York State.

The Right Reverend Hobart