When the First United Church was closing their doors, I was in charge of gathering all the books and documents relating to the life and history of the churches. Yes, you read that right, churches- meaning two! The First United Church was formed in 1950 when the Presbyterian Church and the Methodist Episcopal Church of Hoosick Falls joined together. Sorting through all the literature was quite the task since the documents dated back to 1825. It was amazing to find the first session book and read about the formation and establishment of the Presbyterian Church. One of the most interesting books gave a list of the minister’s sermons and remarks on how they were received.
The books and documents were gathered to be sent to the Presbyterian Historical Society in Philadelphia. As a member of First United and the Director of the Historical Society, I saw the importance of being able to keep some of the information in Hoosick Falls. You can contact Philadelphia and they will research information for you, but having it close at hand at 166 Main Street was important to many.
If you have ever seen a church session book, it is customary for the front of the book to contain a ledger of the monthly/yearly reports. The back of the book many times will have birth, marriage and funeral records. These are the records we wanted to have at the museum.
The process of getting these files in digital form will take approximately six to eight months. I was able to photocopy a few pages of one book, the Presbyterian Church, September 28,1893 to September 13, 1917. These records are searchable and contain marriage and funeral records. This is just the beginning of many First United records we hope to have available for the Hoosick Falls community.