Derby History Quiz

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Derby Methodist Church

Derby Methodist Church

Legend has it that the Reverend Jesse Lee preached the first sermon in Derby in 1791 at Up Town. Evidently, he was quite good at what he did as he was invited to come back again by Mr. & Mrs. John Coe. Derby became part of a preaching circuit and in 1793 organized its own society. Around 1800, the circuit riding became a bit more permanent with regular services being offered in the the school house in Derby Neck. In 1835, Sheldon Smith donated land on the north side of the Derby Green on what is now Fifth Street for the construction of a new church which was dedicated on August 17, 1837. The church was enlarged in 1851.

The photos on the left and above were donated by a Mr. Hansen on May 27, 1894 and placed in an iron box in the cornerstone of the church when it was dedicated.

According to a note listing the inventory in the box, the cornerstone came from the old red schoolhouse at Derby Neck and was donated by William Durand. The contents of the box were removed in 1994 and are on display at the church. Randy Ritter restored the old photos to their current condition and presented them to us for use in this quiz. The next picture shows the church standing proudly at the head of the Derby Green while the two below show views of the current structure on the corner of Fifth and Elizabeth.


Correct answers were received from: Mayor Marc J. Garofalo, Jack Skelding, Howard Bradshaw, Millie from Ansonia, Fred Grant, Mary Lou Boroski, Kevin and Chantal Gerckens, C.F. Douglass, Dave Petz, Rick Dunne, Markanthony Izzo and Jim Bartlett.

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