Trinity Church was incorporated on June 12, 1833. At that time Elmira was a village in Tioga County with an estimated population of not more than 2000. The first church building, completed in 1836, was described as a “little white church standing alone in a field” on the southeast corner of West Church Street and Railroad Avenue. Prior to the building of the first church, services were held in a log schoolhouse which stood where The Park Church stands today. When the need for a church became apparent, one member of the parish, Mrs. Thomas Hill, known as “Auntie Hill,” traveled to Trinity Church in New York City and secured a gift of $500 toward the building of a church.
The cornerstone of the present church building was laid on July 26, 1855. The church was completed in 1858 at a cost of $30,000. The first service was held on July 4th of that year and, all debts having been paid, the church was consecrated on April 5, 1866.
The church building was designed in the American Gothic style by architect Henry Dudley of New York City. Dudley was renowned for church architecture, his trademark being spires of the same material as the building. Thus Trinity has a steeple, consisting of tower and spire, entirely of brick construction. It is one of eleven of its kind in the world and seven of its kind in the country. The builders were Nichols and Washburn of Albany.
Stained glass windows were installed when the church was built. Over the years many of these original windows have been replaced with memorial windows. Only two of the original windows remain: the Geometric-Patterned window on the north wall and The West Window.
The word “lectern” means reading desk. The inscription reads “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.” Trinity’s lectern features an eagle with outstretched wings, representing the delivery of the Gospel throughout the world. The crown signifies victory and sovereignty. The eagle is associated with St. John.
The Lectern Lamp
This lamp features the winged lion, a symbol of St. Mark, who stressed the regal character of our Lord – the voice of one crying in the wilderness, as does the lion in the jungle. The winged ox symbolizes St. Luke, stressing the sacrificial death of our Lord. The winged man represents St. Matthew, who emphasized the Incarnation of the Son of God, tracing the human descent of our Lord. The manuscript represents the fourteen books of the New Testament credited to St. Paul and five books of the Old Testament. The crossed swords speak of the right to proclaim and defend truth. This lamp was designed and crafted by Emil Borgerson, a Norwegian iron worker from Corning, New York.
The Rendl Oak Carvings
In 1925 and 1927 two oak statues made by Peter Rendl, one of the finest wood carvers of Oberamergau, Bavaria, Germany, were placed in the nave on either side of the chancel.
The one of the “Good Shepherd” on the left was the gift of Mrs. Frank Ferguson in memory of her mother, Mrs. Mary Lynch. The one on the right, “Christ Blessing Little Children,” had been ordered by Mrs. Ferguson in memory of her husband just prior to her death and so the statue was erected by the Ferguson estate in memory of both Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson.
The Baptismal Font, given in 1927 in memory of Gladys E. Hanley by her father and mother, is eight-sided, reminding us that Jesus was eight days old when he was taken to the temple. Symbols are interspersed with the words “One Lord,” “One Faith,” “One Baptism.” These are a budded cross; IHC, representing a Greek word IHCOYC (pronounced Yasous) for Jesus; alpha and omega, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, signifying Jesus as the Beginning and the End; and the descending dove, signifying the Holy Spirit. The font cover bears a fleurie cross and roses with nails. The rose has been used as a Christian symbol since the thirteenth century. The nails remind us of the Crucifixion. The pair of wall lanterns have the same type of cross.
The Baptismal Lamp was given in 1942 in memory of Mrs. Betty Hutchenson Shinebarger by her parents; the Baptismal Boom was given in memory of Dr. and Mrs. J. Stanley Ellis by Mr. and Mrs. Horace Koch.
The Lawrence Memorial Window: The Baptismal Font Window
It is conjectured, but not confirmed by parish records, that this window was given as a memorial to R. Lawrence. (May 23, 1855 – November 27, 1856) The original upper portion of this window depicted the head of a Cherub. This figure was nearly obliterated over time and was replaced with the present image of the Font. The grapes represent “Fruit of the Vine” and the Madonna Lily is a symbol of the Virgin Mary and also denotes the Resurrection. The cross, crown, and sword stand for Redemption, Glory, and Martyrdom. The Shield implies protection.
In recognition of Edward LaGrande Adams, Jr., benefactor and faithful communicant (1930)
The Diven Memorial Window: The Crusader
This window was given in memory of Eugene Diven, who died in 1888 and who for seventeen years was a Vestryman and “a most esteemed member and valued official.” The figure clad in a suit of armor is that of a crusader, symbolizing Mr. Diven’s qualities as a good Christian: character, faith, strength, and willingness to stand up for the right. The symbol at the top of the window, the Chi Rho, represents the first two letters of the Greek word XPICTOC (pronounced Christos). The letters abbreviate the name of Christ. This outstanding window was crafted by Tiffany. (c. 1888)
Thanks be to God for Walter R. Tyrrell, Acolyte, Patriot, 1947-1969. “Rip” was killed in the Vietnam War.
The Rathbone Memorial Window
This window was given by Henry Rathbone in memory of his wife, Catherine E. Rathbone, who died in 1880. While the figure in this window has not been identified, the window contains much symbolism: the descending dove as The Holy Spirit; INRI, representing the Latin Iesus Nazarenum Rex Iudaeorum, translated “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews;” lily of the valley for humility; and the rose, a Christian symbol. (c. 1880)
Thanks be to God for Francis F. Whittle, Warden, Vestryman, Friend 1922-1967
Given by Eleanor Dale Taylor in memory of her father, John G. Dale
The Geometric-Patterned Window
This window is orginal to the church. It is composed of geometric designs in predominantly primary colors.
The Women’s Window
This window was given by the Trinity’s Women’s Auxiliary in 1955, the centennial year of the laying of the cornerstone of the church. It was dedicated to both the living and deceased women of the parish. The left panel shows Ruth and Naomi, the devoted mother and daughter-in-law, with Ruth’s husband Boaz and their son Obed, who was the father of Jesse, who was the father of David of the house of David. The right portion shows Jesus with Mary, the intellectual and Martha, the housekeeper.
The Colegrove Memorial Window: The Physicians Window
This window was given in memory of LaRue Colegrove, M.D. by his widow, Emily W. Colegrove. The theme is healing as shown through the images of St. Luke the Physician (with the mortar and pestle) and of St. John. This window was created by Connick Associates of Boston. (1959)
The Credence, mounted to the north pillar at the rear of the nave, was crafted by Arthur C. Reed from oak original to the church. It was given by John and Lisa Kelly in memory of her parents, Edith and Neil Guerrieri.
Gift of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew in memory of A.K. Palmer (1886-1934), National Councilman, Vestryman and in memory of donors to the Memorial Fund
This Public Address System is in memory of Mrs Anna T. Johnson, a gift of her family. (1951)
The “Porches” (Narthex)
In 1923 much work was undertaken on “the porches.” Trinity Aid Society gave the money with which to lay new tile floor with marble steps into the nave and new oak wainscoting was put in place. The Trinity Guild provided beautiful oak doors with cathedral glass which were hung between the porches and the nave in memory of Mrs. David C. Robinson. The painting of the Madonna and Child originally hung over the Children’s Altar. It is a copy of a celebrated Madonna which hangs in an art gallery in Italy.
The Van Houten Memorial Window: The Victory Window
This window was given by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Van Houten in memory of their son, Charles H. Van Houten, and fourteen others from Trinity who died during World War II. The window includes the Boy Scout insignia inscribed with “Troop 30,” which was Trinity’s troop at that time.
In memory of Captain Alden D. Allen, killed in Korea, by fellow firemen (listed)
In memory of Corporal Carl E. Davies, killed in action in France on June 6, 1944; a gift of his many friends in the Eclipse Machine Div. (listed)
The West Window
The West Window is original to the church.
In the quatrefoil on the upper left is the representation of an angel giving Glory to God. The quatrefoil window on the upper right shows a male deer drinking from a brook, a visualization of Psalm 42: “Like as a hart desireth the water brook, so longeth my soul after Thee, O God.”
In the leftmost compartment are the Alpha and Omega and the Easter Lily. Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet and stand for the Beginning and the End. The Easter Lily is a symbol of the Resurrection.
The second compartment shows a mitre, symbol of the Office of Bishop. Below it are the implements used at the arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane: the sword, torch, spear, and axe.
The center compartment presents the Descending Dove, the Baptismal Font and the Holy Bible, symbolizing One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism. When Jesus was baptized, God sent the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove. The font tells us that through Baptism we become a Member of Christ, a Child of God, and an Inheritor of the Kingdom of Heaven. The open Bible bears the inscription “Search the Scriptures” because the Lord told us that is the way to know Him. (John 5:39)
In the upper portion of the fourth compartment we see a ladder, a reed with a sponge, and an axe. These represent our Savior’s crucifixion. The reed and sponge were used to raise the bitter drink to Jesus’ lips. The ladder was used in taking Jesus’ body down from the cross. The axe may have been used at the tomb. The pillar in the lower part of the window represents where Jesus was tied as he was scourged.
In the fifth compartment are found the Greek letters Alpha, Iota, and Mu; and the Christmas Rose. Alpha means the Beginning. Iota is the first letter of the Greek word IHCOYC (pronounced Yasous) for Jesus, and Mu stands for continuance. Jesus was in the beginning, is now, and continues to be with us. The Christmas Rose symbolizes the Nativity of our Lord. Seven hundred years before Jesus’ birth Isaiah spoke of the coming of the Savior saying, “The desert shall blossom as the rose at the coming of the kingdom of righteousness.”
The Alms Box
The Alms Box on the west wall was used for offerings when there was no formal offertory.
Handbell Memorials, 1996
Lighting in the nave given in honor of Mrs. Edith Parker by her children Stephen and Violet Parker, Easter 1934
The Clerestory Windows
Beginning at the left facing south:
St. Francis of Assissi: Blessed are the Poor in Spirit, given in memory of Mrs. Frank Ferguson by the Girls Friendly Society (1940s)
St. Cuthbert: Blessed are the Meek, given in memory of Forrest W. Horne by his wife, Anna B. Horne (1940s)
St. Luke: Blessed Are the Merciful, given in memory of Charles and Mary Bassett by Mrs. Zelma Van Campen (1940s)
St. Joseph of Aramethea: Blessed Are the Pure in Heart, given in memory of Herschel L. Gardner (1869-1946) by his family (c. 1946)
St. Anne: Blessed Are Ye When Men Shall Revile You, given in memory of Eleanor H. Goodrich by her family and friends (1940s)
Beginning at the left facing north:
St. Cecilia, given in memory of Florence J. Brooks, Junior Choir Director, 1927- 1956
The inscription reads “Song and Melody in Your Heart to the Lord.” (c. 1956)
St. Andrew: Blessed Are They Who Hunger and Thirst After Righteousness, given in memory of Ralph Ellsworth, Robert Emerson, George Wilkes, and Alfred W. Cummings by the Trinity Chapter of The Brotherhood of St. Andrew (c.1940)
St. Peter: Blessed are the Peacemakers, given in memory of Thomas and Harriet Gibbs by their children (1953)
St. Paul, given in memory of Frank Steinicke, a Vestryman at the time of his death, by his wife Ann Ruby Steinicke (1951)
St. John, given in memory of Harry Edward Turner by his wife and daughter (1953)
Beginning at the left facing south: US, NYS, Chemung County, City of Elmira
Beginning at the left facing north: Canterbury, Diocese of Central NY, Episcopal Church
Two interesting facts about the church
are that in 1877 the Vestry decided to levy a charge of 20% on the price of pews to pay for the music. The charge was discontinued in 1919.
Kneelers were not included with the original pews, but were made and donated by the Kertscher Company, a local woodworking firm, in 1922. The kneeling pads were not added until 1953.
The Ushers’ Table
The Ushers’ Table, mounted to the south pillar at the rear of the nave, was crafted by Arthur C. Reed from oak original to the church. It was given by Judith Sheasley and Elizabeth Frigard in thanksgiving for their parents, Sybil and Carl Edson.
The Diocesan Cross
This cross, also known as the Cross Botonee, is mounted over the south door to North Main Street. It is a budded cross of the Greek type, with arms of equal length, and is used to represent the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York.
The Hall Memorial Window: The Sower and the Reaper
This window was given by Bray Dickinson Hall and his wife in memory of his mother, Mrs. Fanny Foster Hall. The window was crafted in Boston by Connick Associates. (1961)
In loving memory of The Rev. Henry E. Hubbard, MA (1873-1957), faithful and devoted rector of Trinity Church for 36 years (1917-1953)
The Holmes Memorial Window: The Good Samaritan
This window was given in memory of Lemuel G. Holmes (1849-1927) by his family. The window was crafted by Whitefriars of London. The friar, which appears in the lower right corner of the window, is the trademark of Whitefriars. The friar, which appears in the lower right corner of the window, is the trademark of Whitefriars. (1929)
Given by Eleanor Dale Taylor in memory of her mother, Belle M. Dale
The McKnight Children Memorial Window
This window was by given The Rev. Dr. George H. and Julia E. McKnight in memory of their children. Mr. McKnight became rector of Trinity Church in 1869 and served for thirty-six years. The McKnight’s were the parents of Charles H. McKnight, who succeeded his father as rector in 1906; and of George Morgan McKnight, organist and choir director at Trinity for fifty-three years. Other known McKnight children were Theodore and Kate. The figures in the window appear to be a father, perhaps dressed as a knight, the protector of his family, a mother and three children.
In memory of The Rev. T.G. David Kingman (1908-1994), rector 1953-1974
The Stuart Memorial Window: The Coming of the Magi
This window was given by beloved Elmira physician Dr. Anna Stuart in memory of her mother, Anna Beach Stuart. The window was crafted by Whitefriars of London. The friar, which appears in the lower right corner of the window, is the trademark of Whitefriars. (1928)
In memory of The Rev. Andrew Hull, D.D., born June 13, 1811, died Feb. 27, 1894; Rector of Trinity Parish 1849-1866; during his incumbency this church was erected, 1855-1858.
The Shepard Memorial Window: Christ in the Carpenter Shop
This window in the Children’s Corner was given in memory of Harry L. Shepard by the Trinity Athletic Association; his sister, Mrs. J.B. Roy; many friends; and his wife, Lillian. Tissot’s painting, “Christ in the Carpenter Shop,” is reproduced in this window. The grouping of three fish represents the Christian symbol of the Trinity, three persons in one God. This window was crafted by Pike Stained Glass Studios of Rochester, New York. (1940s)
The Children’s Corner (Children’s Altar)
The Children’s Altar, as it is referred to today, was named “The Children’s Corner” when it was built in 1927. It reflects The Rev. Henry Hubbard’s devotion to the children of the parish.
Behind the back wall of this altar is a chamber containing some of the organ housing. When the church was built, the small organ from “the little white church” was removed to this chamber, known as “the coop.” This is where the choir sat, out of sight and with a small stove standing outside the door to provide heat in cold weather.
The lamp hanging near the Children’s Altar is a memorial to Captain Frank H. Turner, who gave his life for his country. (1947)
The intricate brass cast pulpit was given by Mrs. Hannah C. Eldridge. The brass work on the front shows familiar symbols and also the eternal quality of the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The inscription reads “To the Glory of God and in memory of many mercies Whitsunday 1887.”
The Pulpit Lantern
The Pulpit Lantern, constructed of hand-hammered Swedish iron, polished brass, and opalescent glass in the Gothic design, was given in memory of Mrs. Jacob Coykendall by the Women’s Auxiliary and the Church School. The lamp features the design of the lamb, an ancient symbol of sacrifice. The lamp is crowned with the nimbus or cloud, telling of man’s sin and the sacrifice of Jesus on Calvary. The fish is a symbol of Christianity. The pelican is a striking example of the Lord’s atonement. This bird plucks open her own breast to feed her young with her own blood, even dying herself in order to keep her young alive. It symbolizes the Saviour giving his life for us. The lion represents strength and leadership. The unicorn is a symbol of the Lord’s Incarnation and sinless life. The stag is a symbol of the Saviour overcoming evil and trampling the serpent. This lamp was made by Emil Borgerson, a Norwegian iron worker from Corning, New York.
The Free-Standing Altar
The Free-Standing Altar is located at the foot of the chancel steps. This altar was acquired from St. John’s Episcopal Church in Elmira Heights when it closed its doors in 2012. It was refinished and refitted to the church by Arthur C. Reed and dedicated in memory of Ruth and Milton Roy, as a gift from their children William Roy, Dorianne Riggs, and Evalou Bell.
The Chancel Rail
The Chancel Rail of solid carved oak extends across the front of the chancel on either side of the chancel steps. It was given in 1944 in memory of Robert E. Emerson by his family.
The Dean Memorial Organ
The organ, built by the Skinner Organ Company, was given by Mr. Elmer Dean in memory of his son, The Rev. John Clark Dean, who was ordained in Trinity as a deacon in 1908 and died of asphyxiation in 1914 while trying to thaw frozen pipes in the basement of the rectory of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Dunmore, Pennsylvania where he was the rector. The organ was completed on November 17, 1922 at a cost of $15,000. The builders invited George Morgan McKnight to play the first selection and he gladly complied choosing the doxology, “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow.”
The George Morgan McKnight Memorial Window
George Morgan McKnight, son of former rector George H. McKnight, brother of former rector Charles H. McKnight, and Director of Music at Elmira College, served Trinity as organist and choir director for fifty-three years. The inscription reads “Heavenly Alleluias
Rise.” This window, crafted by Pike Stained Glass Studios of Rochester, New York, was dedicated on April 12, 1942. (1941-42)
During Holy Eucharist the elements of Bread and Wine are placed on the Credence, located to the right of the altar. The letters IHS are from the Greek word IHCOYC (pronounced Yasous) for Jesus. As knowledge of Greek diminished, the Greek “C” was changed to a Latin “S” so the abbreviation was often IHS instead of IHC. The Credence was given in memory of Anna S. Ufford.
The George H. McKnight Memorial Altar
On June 17, 1907 this beautiful marble altar was dedicated to the memory of The Rev. Dr. George H. McKnight, rector of Trinity Church for thirty-six years, 1869-1905. The following description was offered by The Rt. Rev. Henry C. Potter, Bishop of New York, in his dedicatory sermon: “The altar is of the finest white Italian marble, the length being seven feet, standing on a space about nine feet long.” “The mensa (table top) has in it an inlaid cross in green marble and is supported in front at the ends by two massive columns of white marble with carved capitols of the lily motif in high relief. The panel in front of the altar is of Venetian mosaic, the field being gold with the resurrection lilies in pure white and leaves and stems of rich green. In the center of the field is a cross with the eternity circle treated in red with a superimposed chalice in silver, the whole producing a rich and beautiful effect in tone and color.” The memorial was designed by Charles R. Lamb and executed and erected by the firm of J. & R. Lamb.
The Eldridge Memorial Window
This window was given by Mrs. Julia Reynolds in memory of Mrs. Hannah C. Eldridge, who bequeathed the church $2000 as a memorial fund to be used for parish purposes upon her death. The center panel presents the Annunciation and bears the inscription “I go to prepare a place for you.” The left panel represents Whitsunday or The Day of Pentecost; the inscription reads “He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove.” The right panel presents the Easter theme “He is not here, He is risen.” The top circle depicts the Lamb of God within the Star of David. This six- sided star means “God the Father” or the “Creator’s Star” and signifies power, wisdom, majesty, love, mercy, and justice. Agnus dei is the Latin for “Lamb of God.” The angels in the small upper panels represent the Heavenly Host. The stenciled pomegranate framing this window stands for immortality or bursting forth. This window was considered the most beautiful and elaborate memorial in Western New York State at the time it was installed. The design was suggested by the rector, the Rev. Dr. George H. McKnight and made by Godwin of Philadelphia. It was removed for repair and restoration and reinstalled in November 1993. (1888)
The Aumbry, appropriately mounted to the north wall, was given to Trinity Church by St. John’s Episcopal Church, Elmira Heights when it closed its doors in 2012. A new oak installation at Trinity was executed by Arthur C. Reed and given in memory of Richard VanDeusen by his wife Carol and family. It is a tabernacle for consecrated Sacrament and Holy Oils.
The Needlepoint Cushions
These works of art, designed to carry out the theme of the mosaic on the front of the altar, were stitched by members of Trinity. One communion rail kneeler is a memorial to Frances Whittle by his wife, Ann, and children, Lee and Whit.
The radio broadcasting equipment was given by Dr. Leslie Benson in 1932 in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Benson. In 1945 an anonymous donor gave the broadcasting arm, made by Emil Borgerson, in memory three choir members who died in World War II: Lt. Lowell Smith, Lee H. Cramer, and Cpl. Carl Davies. Services were broadcast on WENY, then located in the Mark Twain Hotel. The first church to do this, Trinity broadcast from December 1932 until the 1950s.
Renovation of 1927
In 1927 extensive redecoration of the chancel took place, resulting in many of the beautiful furnishings that we enjoy to this day. Items included in this renovation are indicated immediately following. On December 4 of that year, a “Rededication of Trinity Church and Memorial Gifts Service” was held by the bishop, the Rt. Rev. Edward H. Coley, DD. At the dedication it was mentioned in the program: “Besides innumerable gifts of money from members of the congregation which are making these repairs and improvements possible, particular mention should be made of the untiring work of Mr. Hiram H. Bickford, architect, who as a member of the Vestry has made these things possible in the pleasing appearance which our church assumes today, and to Mr. T.H. Markthaler, also a member of the committee, for many hours of personal attention he has given the work.”
Mr. Bickford was a local architect who designed a number of Elmira homes and commercial buildings which stand today.
Much of the wood carving was executed by Charles S. Hall of Tyrone, NY, former parishioner of The Rev. Henry Hubbard when he was rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Waterloo, NY.
The carved quartered oak reredos, extending the width of the chancel, was a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Markthaler in memory of their parents. Reredos is a Greek word meaning “behind.” Bordering the reredos is a grapevine with fruit, spoken of as the “Tree of Life” or “Fruit of the Vine,” symbolizing that the Holy Eucharist is central to our life as Christians. The top center symbols above the altar are: manus, Latin for Hand of God – the creative power, protection, possession and blessing; the central figure is the Alpha and Omega; the third symbol is the Descending Dove or Holy Spirit. Before the renovation of 1927, the wall was blue upon which were written The Ten Commandments.
The Altar Rail
The altar rail of Gothic tracery, with carved bands and finials at the wall terminals, was the gift of Mrs. Edith Parker in memory of her husband, Stephen Henry Parker. The original altar rail was removed to the Baptistry at that time. In 2007 it was removed to the Arnot Memorial Room.
The Bishop’s Chair
This seat, the cathedra, is designated for the visiting bishop. It bears a carving of a mitre, the symbol of the bishop. This carved oak Bishop’s Chair and sanctuary seats were a gift of Gabe Smith and his brothers in memory of their mother, Mary Jane Smith.
The Choir Stalls
The choir stalls are of quartered oak matching the reredos. They were the gift of Ernest Benson in memory of a faithful member, Dorothy Putman Brundage; Gaylord Riggs in memory of his mother, Cora Gaylord Ryon; the Hildreth family in memory of their mother, Mrs. Casper D. Hildreth; and C. Lawrence Wisehart in memory of his mother, Ida Lockwood Wisehart. The end of stall terminates in a unique carved fleur-de-lis (lily) finial. The lily is a symbol of the Annunciation of our Lord, the flower of the Virgin Mary, and of the Trinity.
The Prayer Desks
The prayer desks in front of the choir stalls were the gift of Muriel Wood in memory of her mother, Margaret Wood, and Gaylord Riggs in memory of his sister, Bessie Walsh.
The Clergy Seats in the chancel were given in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Herman Volbrecht by their children Barbara and Grace Volbrecht, Mrs. Henry Margeit, and William Volbrecht.
The tile floor in the chancel and sanctuary was given by societies of the church. The pattern includes tiles designed with a Cross; a Crown; a Phoenix, which rose from the ashes as a symbol of the Resurrection; and flowers and other objects.
The Sacristy is used to store Communion vessels and altar hangings and to prepare for services.
A memorial plaque recognizes Dr. Anna M. Stuart (1865-1961) whose generosity made possible the renewal of the Sacristy in 1962.
The Sacristy Windows
Five sets of tracery windows adorn the Sacristy. They were designed and made by Mrs. Dorothy Kingman, wife of former rector The Rev. David Kingman and faithful member of the Altar Guild. Each window represents an aspect of Christian Life and Worship. These colorful and charming windows represent the evolution of stained glass window making as a hobby craft (c. 1990s)
Rosemary Tanner, 1987; updated June 2014, August 2015
The Arnot Memorial Chapel
The Arnot Memorial Chapel, together with an adjoining Parish House, was given by Marianna Arnot Ogden and consecrated on November 28, 1882. Designed by Richard M. Upjohn, the Chapel is made of 13th Century-style brick and stone, has a sundial above the chancel window, and is reminiscent of an old English parish church. The interior was designed by Cyrus L.W. Eidlitz. The chapel was renamed The Arnot Memorial Room when it was deconsecrated in 1955 and renovated for use by the Church School, as a social area, and later as home to The Chapel Shop. This space is now used for worship by the United Baptist Church throughout the year and by Trinity during the coldest months.
A sundial is mounted on the outside south wall.
The communion rail is original to the present church. It was relocated to the baptistry when the church underwent major renovations in 1927 and was removed to the chapel in 2007.
The parlor table is believed to be original to first parish house, which was incorporated into the present parish building during extensive renovations in the 1950s.
The Arnot Memorial Chapel Windows
The window on the south wall includes four compartments, surmounted by a beautifully-colored rose window. Each of the compartments is symbolic of the member of Marianna Arnot Ogden’s family in whose memory it is placed.
The leftmost compartment is in memory of John Arnot, her father and former president of Chemung Canal Bank who died on November 17, 1873. The design represents the sower sowing the seeds of goodness and truth for the guidance of coming generations. The Scotch fir in the background and the thistle in the border typify age and Mr. Arnot’s original nationality.
The next compartment is in memory of her mother, Harriett Tuttle Arnot who died on December 7, 1877. It represents the matron richly-appareled, holding the distaff, the staff from which flax or wool is drawn in spinning. The spinning wheel at her side represents the woman looking after the needs of her family.
The third compartment is in memory of her sister, Aurelia C. Arnot who died on December 11, 1874. It depicts a young lady holding a book and a lily. In the background is a garden of flowers, signifying a cultivated and refined taste, and suggesting a love of knowledge and purity of character.
The fourth compartment is in memory of William B. Ogden, her husband and one of the founders and first mayor of Chicago, who died on August 8, 1877. It represents the reaper at the close of the day, reaping the rewards of past labor. The golden grain, the pine trees, and the border of oak represent a vigorous age after a life of successful industry.
Originally, two additional windows were placed in memory of Richard Suydam Palmer and his son, John Arnot Palmer. While neither of these windows are in existence today, records indicate that the former was located at the southmost end of the west wall and that the latter illustrated a Psalm. In their absence, memorial plaques are mounted on the southmost end of the east wall.
(Window descriptions are after the account of the dedication as printed in the Elmira Advertizer, November 29, 1882.)