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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Duanesburg in Schenectady County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Duanesburg Reformed Presbyterian Church

 
 
Reformed Presbyterian Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, September 22, 2006
1. Reformed Presbyterian Church Marker
Inscription.
Society of the Reformed
Presbyterian Church
Org. 1795 By Rev. McKinney
1st Ministers: Rev.
McMaster, Wylie, & Ramsay.
Present Edifice Built 1836

 
Erected 1935 by New York State Education Department.
 
Location. 42° 46.127′ N, 74° 9.368′ W. Marker is in Duanesburg, New York, in Schenectady County. Marker is on Western Turnpike (U.S. 20) near Duanesburg Churches Road (County Route 127), on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is just west of the intersection of Duanesburg Churches Road and US Route 20. Marker is in this post office area: Duanesburg NY 12056, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Christ Episcopal Church (within shouting distance of this marker); William North (within shouting distance of this marker); James Duane (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Christ Episcopal Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Christman Sanctuary (approx. 2.3 miles away); Great Lot 92
Reformed Presbyterian Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, December 12, 2009
2. Reformed Presbyterian Church Marker
The marker is roadside along Route 20.
(approx. 2.3 miles away); Home of William North (approx. 2.4 miles away); a different marker also named Christman Sanctuary (approx. 2.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Duanesburg.
 
Regarding Duanesburg Reformed Presbyterian Church. The Duanesburg Reformed Presbyterian Church has held its services in a number of locations over the years.
In 1836 the original church was struck by lightning and burned. The church building described by the marker was built the following year and it burned Decemeber 16, 1951;

Schenectady's Union-Star Monday, December 17, 1951

Presbyterian Church At Duanesburg Destroyed by Fire

Fire of undetermined origin last night destroyed the historic Reformed Presbyterian church in Duanesburg. Firemen from Duanesburg and Delanson departments were powerless to fight the blaze as water in storage tanks was frozen solid by the sub zero temperature. The Rev. Henry J. Meiners Jr. said, "All they could do was just stand and watch it burn.” He added that it would cost $23,000 to rebuild the 114-year-old church. It was insured for only $4,000. The fire was discovered about 6 p.m. when the temperature was 2
Duanesburg Reformed Presbyterian Church image. Click for full size.
Collection of Norman Collins, circa 1948
3. Duanesburg Reformed Presbyterian Church
The Reformed Presbyterian church on Duanesburg Churches Road was built on land donated by James Duane. The congregation was organized in 1795. Pictured is the second church building. The first was constructed in 1807, and burned in 1836. This church, noted in the historic marker, was built in 1836-37 and burned in December of 1951. The church's Sunday school, started in 1833 to teach English to the adult German immigrants, is the oldest continuing Sunday school in the country.
below zero. Firemen quickly reached the scene, but found they were helpless when they had no water supply. The building burned to the ground in two hours.
William Bloodworth, president of the Duanesburg fire department, raced to the church when he received news of the fire in an effort to save records stored there. He said when he entered the church the balcony on the west side of the building was enveloped in flames and ready to collapse. He said this was where the fire originated. The balcony, originally used as a slave gallery, was on the opposite side of the church from where the furnace was located. The church had been closed for extensive repairs the past three weeks and the heating plant had been turned off. The Rev. Mr. Meiners said today that he could not state at this time whether or not the church would be rebuilt. He said that a meeting of the congregation probably would be called within the next few days to decide on what action to take. He disclosed that he did not believe the fire started from a short circuit or faulty wiring. He explained that the church had been completely rewired within the past three years He added that this congregation probably would continue to meet in the Grange hall, where it was holding services while the repairs were being made to the church. The improvements, for which the congregation voted $7,000 last summer, were to include re-plastering,
Duanesburg Reformed Presbyterian Church Site image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, November 18, 2009
4. Duanesburg Reformed Presbyterian Church Site
These stone steps, and a partial foundation, remain at the site of the former 1836 Reformed Presbyterian Church.
installation of an oil burner, storm windows and repairing some of the stained [glass] windows. Recent church records were lost in the blaze but the old records were saved. Flames cast a red glow over the entire community and brought virtually all resident to the scene. The church was on Church Road [Duanesburg Churches Road] about 200 yards from Route 20. The parish was founded in 1793 by Alexander McCloud, and its first church was erected in 1794. The land for the church was given by Catherine Duane, daughter of James Duane, founder of Duanesburg and first mayor of New York City. In 1836 the original church was struck by lightning and burned. The present church was built the following year. State police at the Duanesburg outpost are investigating the cause of the fire. They indicated they did not believe it was arson.


Front page photo caption:

Fire Destorys Historic Church


Even if the weather had not been sub-zero, today still would have been cold and bleak for the Rev. Harry H. Meiners Jr. Above he surveys the charred ruins of what was once his church. The historic Duanesburg Reformed Presbyterian church was destroyed by fire early last night. Frozen water supplies made it impossible for Duanesburg and Delanson firemen to fight.


After the fire the church congregation decided to rebuild, but closer
The Former Duanesburg Reformed Presbyterian Church image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, April 21, 2007
5. The Former Duanesburg Reformed Presbyterian Church
This building was the erected in 1952 after the 1836 Church building burned in December of 1951. The dedication for this new church took place December 18, 1955.
by, in the crossroads hamlet of Duanesburg. The church found this new building suitable for many years until they sold the building and built a new structure on Route 20, not far from the site of the 1836 building, and dedicated it in 2010.
 
Also see . . .  Duanesburg Reformed Presbyterian Church. (Submitted on April 2, 2011, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.)
 
Additional keywords. Church Fire
 
Categories. Churches, Etc.
 
The New Duanesburg Reformed Presbyterian Church image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, December 4, 2010
6. The New Duanesburg Reformed Presbyterian Church
This new building is the current home of the Duanesburg Reformed Presbyterian Church at 6512 Western Turnpike (US 20), Duanesburg.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 28, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 30, 2011, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. This page has been viewed 636 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on March 30, 2011, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.   2. submitted on March 31, 2011, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.   3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on April 2, 2011, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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