|United Church of Ludlow||
On a recent Sunday before worship, the United Church of Ludlow received a visit from Rev. Peter Read, first pastor of the Ludlow Congregational Church. Read was important in the history of Ludlow and its first church. Born in Massachusetts in 1751, in 1776 he married Mary Pitcher, who died in child birth. He married Lydia Gilbert in 1786. In 1792, the year after Vermont became the 14th state, the Reads moved with three children from New Haven, CT to Ludlow. Upon arrival, Read immediately took up activity in organizing the town and religious affairs. He served as selectman in 1793 and 1795-1799 and in 1795 was Ludlow’s first Representative to the Vermont Legislature. Pictured above is Rev. Read (aka Bob Kottkamp) holding 1806 book describing church origin in his handwriting.
Ludlow’s first free library opened its doors in 1892. Known as the Florence Memorial Library, it occupied about 20 percent of the first floor of the United Church of Ludlow building. The library was accessed by two outside doors, one of which has since been replaced by a window. The furnishings of the library were donated by James S. Gill and his wife Rachel, of Ludlow and Boston, in memory of their daughter Florence. Originally a public library, free and open to local citizens, it was closed after the Fletcher Memorial Library was opened in 1900. A plaque over the original fireplace in the library still commemorates the Gill’s gift to the community.
Included in the obvious treasures of the United Church of Ludlow are fifteen stained-glass windows that grace its sanctuary. Many of the Church’s less obvious treasures are in the form of information – such as birthdates, baptisms, marriages and deaths, among others. The Church’s May 5 and May 6, 2012 Birthday Party – the 120th for the Church’s Building and the 220th for the Church’s founding – will include many free activities available to the public. The Birthday Party activities will take place from 3 to 5 pm on Saturday, May 5th (followed by a scrumptious dinner at a ridiculously low price) and on Sunday, May 6th from 2 to 4 pm (concurrently with a free Ice Cream Social). The Church’s primary stained-glass window (see above) can be back lit, making it especially beautiful at night when the lights are on – a real treasure. This window is unusual due to its focus on women