The Presbyterian Church in Victor
by: Dianne Thomas
pictures contributed by Ron Hanley
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Victor Presbyterian Church Then and Now
from The Victor Herald, Victor, NY Friday, August 27, 1937
Changes Take Place In Presbyterian Church in Victor - In this issue of The Victor Herald, appears a picture of the first Presbyterian Church of Victor as it now stands and as it has been see for more than a century, by the people of Victor and vicinity and by travelers through this locality. Soon it will be only through pictures on paper or in memory that the tall slender spire of the old house of worship will be seen silhouetted against the sky, for that spire is soon to be removed. Although it has for many years, stood firm upon its octagonal base, it is now feared that the spire is becoming less trustworthy and might, if left undisturbed, may become a menace to life and property. This fear, and consideration of the expense of maintenance, rested in the decision of the people of the church to have the spire removed. The contract for taking it down has been given to the Wilcox-Johnson Tank Co.
While the church stands, as yet undisturbed as to exterior appearance, changes and improvements are taking place in the interior. A new heating system is being installed and toilet rooms will also be a part of the new equipment. The old furnaces which have occupied considerable space in the social room, will be abolished and the new equipment, while very effective in its heating powers, will be unobtrusive. The exterior of the church will be painted and much needed repairs and improvements are to made in the parsonage.
The First Presbyterian Church of Victor was built and dedicated in 1833. In an historical sketch, published in 1888, it is described as being "40x50 feet, with gallery and spire, and far in advance of anything in the town for its day, and cost about $3,500." It was altered and repaired in 1844. In 1860 and addition was made to the rear; a new spire was built, a bell, weighing 1,700 pounds and costing $500 was hung in the new spire, and the town clock was placed in the tower. In 1868 the parsonage was built at a cost of about $5,000. In 1870 the church was again improved and a place provided for the organ, which was a gift from Colonel Melancthon LEWIS and cost about $2,000. The interior of the church was improved in 1884, when the woodwork was grained black walnut. In 1887 improvements were made in the church basement and the parsonage, the fence was removed from the front and west boundaries of the property and the grounds about he church were graveled, graded and drained.
During the 50 years from 1887 to 1937, minor improvements were of course, made from time to time. Now, really important changes are again taking place and will probably be completed before the new pastor, the Rev. R. E. DRONSFIELD of Andover, arrives with his family, about October 1st, to take up his duties here. As the steeple, a part of the past, vanishes forever, and a new leader takes up his work with the congregation, it is perhaps not amiss to quote a few lines by the Rev. Clarence W. BACKUS, pastor of the church in 1888 and author of the history then published. Mr. BACKUS wrote: " The success of a church is not dependent upon any one man, but upon the piety and devotion of hits people, and in that favor of God which is their life. It is not enough to be satisfied with a past, the future beckons on to grander achievement and more enduring success."
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