Open House of Churches - April 10, 2022 1:00 - 4:00PM
Church of the Holy Innocents*, 401 Main Street, Highland Falls
This church was built in 1846. Most of the funding for the structure was donated by Prof. Robert Weir, head of the USMA Department of Drawing and Painting, from monies he received between 1835 and 1840 for his painting Embarkation of the Pilgrims from Delft Holland. That masterpiece hangs in the United States Capitol Rotunda. The church is a named in honor of Weir’s children who predeceased him. Over the altar is a magnificent Tiffany window donated by Mrs. Herbert Satterlee in memory of her father, financier and vestryman, J. P. Morgan, a part-time resident of Highland Falls.
St. John’s A. M.E. Zion Church, 5 Muller Avenue, Highland Falls
Beginning in 1905, this congregation met in Brooks Hall on Mountain Avenue and later in the Odd Fellows Hall on Main Street. The dream of a church began with the foundation which was hewn from a solid rock ledge with the help of parishioners. The cornerstone was laid on July 17, 1921 Included in the inlay were the Holy Bible, The News of the Highlands, and some church documents. Construction continued by the Leo Graber Company. In 1923 the church was dedicated at a ceremony attended by prominent clergy from the area. In 1954, Eleanor Roosevelt accepted an invitation to speak to the congregation.
Sacred Heart Church, 353 Main Street, Highland Falls
In the 1830s, Catholics in Highland Falls had to row Cold Spring to attend mass. In 1870 a small mission church, St. Thomas of Canterbury, was built on Edwards Street and Mountain Avenue but was soon too small for the growing community. Sacred Heart Church was built in 1876 on a site purchased from Theodore Cozzens. Many early parishioners were Irish and Italian immigrants who settled in Highland Falls during the 1800s to work the mines in the Forest of Dean or to work on railroad construction and the expansion of West Point.
St. Mark’s Baptist Church*, 213 Main Street, Highland Falls
This imposing wood frame structure with its unique bell-tower has undergone many changes in its life as a church. Built in 1900, it was a Methodist-Episcopal Church. The site for the church and the parsonage next door (now a private building) was purchased for $1000 in 1899. It eventually merged with a Presbyterian Church. Later it served as the Church of God of Prophecy and for a while as an art studio. In 1995 it opened its doors as St. Mark’s Baptist Church following a processional march by parishioners from its former quarters on Schneider Avenue.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 11 Main Street, Highland Falls, NY 10928
While headquartered in Utah, a branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was created at West Point in 1956. Services were held in the basement of the 1910 Cadet Chapel and other academic buildings until the recent opening of this chapel. Church leaders and members had sought to build a house of worship since the early 1980s. This new chapel will serve two congregations: The West Point Ward for individuals and families from Highland Falls, Fort Montgomery, and West Point communities and the Hudson Valley Young Adult Single Branch for ages 18-30.
Grace Baptist Church, 54 Old State Road, Highland Falls
Grace Baptist grew from a small group of believers who met in different homes. The first meeting as a church was held in the Zint Building (now American Water) on North Main Street in Highland Falls. After several years of holding services in a variety of town buildings, property was purchased and ground was broken for this church in June 1955. The first meeting was held on Palm Sunday, April 14, 1957. The parsonage next door was built with the help of parishioners. Grace Baptist Church holds an annual service to honor First Responders.
Fort Montgomery United Methodist Church, 770 Route 9W, Fort Montgomery, NY 10928
AKA “The Little Brown Church.” Meeting in private homes as early as 1825, this congregation stepped into its permanent home in 1900. It once served as a hub of local activity uniting parishioners from as far away as Garrison and the Forest of Dean. In 1923 an all-purpose room was added on to the main sanctuary. This served as a Sunday School and as a first and second grade elementary school before a school was built in Fort Montgomery. This church served as part of the West Point Mission from 1932 to 1964 when it became a separate charge.
Blessed Sacrament Chapel, 1048 Route 9W, Fort Montgomery 10922
This chapel was built to accommodate the large numbers of summer residents in Fort Montgomery in the 1920s. With the completion of the Popolopen Bridge and the Bear Mountain Bridge, the popularity of the Highlands as a vacation spot grew. Sunday masses in a local hotel were becoming too crowded. Mrs. Theresa Morganthaler donated a corner of her estate for the stone Gothic chapel which was built by the Leo Graber Construction Company. The cornerstone was laid in 1925. A renovation in 2000 included a new altar and repair and protection of the stained glass windows.
St. Mark’s Episcopal Chapel, 9 St. Mark’s Place, Fort Montgomery, NY 10922
The congregation of St. Mark’s began meeting in a private home in 1914 and later in the Fort Montgomery schoolhouse as part of the Holy Innocents Parish. This chapel was built in 1924. The stained glass windows were formerly in the Cadet Chapel at West Point which were replaced by memorial windows. A parishioner saw the windows in storage, acquired them, re-leaded them, and installed them in the chapel. In 1943 the church bell was donated by Lady Archer-Shee whose country estate, Pellwood was in Highland Falls.
*Denotes listing on the National Register of Historic Places Type your paragraph here.
In celebration of the 150th “Birthday” of the Town of Highlands!
Churches are listed in order of location from north to south. Feel free to visit in ANY ORDER. Visit all 9? Return to the Historical Society at 4:00 at 303 Main Street for a little prize.