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Cornwall Village Green

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The first Congregational Church erected its meetinghouse in Cornwall Village in 1790 on the northeast corner of the present green. The congregation moved to Cornwall Village from Cornwall Center after a schism developed in the church in the 1780s. All traces of the original Cornwall green in Cornwall Center have disappeared.

The green in Cornwall Village is the result of accretions made over the years. The 1795 deed to a half acre lot located just west of the 1790 meetinghouse notes that the lot adjoined "the Meeting House Green, or piece of land set out for said Meeting House's Place."

The original meetinghouse in Cornwall Village was demolished in 1841 after the present meetinghouse was erected on the north side of Bolton Hill Road. In 1870, the First Congregational Church further enlarged the size of its original site in the village, by purchasing from the Second School District the half-acre lot, which now constitutes the northwestern quarter of the green and the site on which St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran Church is located. The First Church made the purchase in order to have a place to build the chapel that it sold in 1955 to St. Peter's, together with .25 acre of land.

The green's northwestern portion belongs to the United Church of Christ in Cornwall, Congregational (constituted by the 1988 merger of the First and Second Churches). Title to the remaining portion of the green, including its whole southern half, has yet to be determined.

Turn of the century photographs show that for many years the green was crisscrossed by publicly used paths and wagon tracks leading from Pine Street and Bolton Hill Road to several buildings abutting on the west which also contained the Village post office, and for shortcuts across its northeastern corner. The green must have served as an informal playground in years when there were schoolhouses where St. Peter's is today and on Pine Street just south of today's green.

Pine Street is named in honor of the trees that once were prevalent in the area. Later, elms were planted which eventually gave way to maple trees. In the 1989 tornado that caused enormous damage to Cornwall, many of the trees on the green were damaged and have been replaced.

For many years the green has been the site for Memorial Day, July Fourth and town anniversary exercises, and for recreational and social activities such as picnicking, pageants, concerts, children's games, and dances.

The Cornwall Village Green is the site of the second meetinghouse built by the First Congregational Church in the town of Cornwall. Soon after it was erected, Cornwall Village became a civic and religious center of the town, as well as the site for successive private schools. It remains a rural town center today and maintains much of its 19th century character.



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