Town of Bethlehem Connecticut

 

 

EARLY BETHLEHEM BELLAMY-FERRIDAY HOUSE

Waterbury American - Saturday Evening, June 19, 1909

Dr. Bellamy lies in Neglected Grave
Great Divine Whose home was in Bethlehem

His field was the Wilderness of Western Connecticut in the middle of the 18th century.
  Preached Elective Sermon to General Assembly in 1762.

"The dead past buries her dead pretty quickly and effectually in these days of progress, but it is well to pause at a milestone now and then and look back with a grateful thought for those who went before and made the path."   These are the words written by Mrs. Elizabeth (Bellamy) Loomis of Greenfield, Mass., the aged great grand-daughter of the Rev. Joseph Bellamy, D.D.  A full meaning of the words of Mrs. Loomis can be better understood by a visit to the old cemetery North of what was once the Bellamy farm in Bethlehem and where for over a century the remains of Dr. Bellamy have been lying under a plain tablet surmounted on four standards.  (The original tablet being in great disrepair Mrs. Loomis has given a new granite tablet.   The old one is lying uncared for in the grass.  G. W. Peck is looking into the disposal of the old tablet.)

Dr. Bellamy was born in Cheshire February 20 1719.   He graduated from Yale College when 16 years old; commenced his labors in Bethlehem in 1738 and preached his first sermon in a barn in what is known as the Kasson district on November 2 of that year.  The town had been settled only four years and was composed of 14 families.  For 50 years he continued his ministrations in the wilderness, gaining renown by his preaching and writing, his greatest work being "True Religion Delineated".  In 1762 he preached the election sermon to the General Assembly and in 1788 was made doctor of Divinity by the University of Aberdeen.   Besides his work as preacher and writer he conducted a school for instructing candidates for the ministry which became famous throughout the United States.

The farm which Dr. Bellamy once owned is now known as the Hull farm and is bounded by several miles of highway.  It was inherited by David Bellamy, his son, and later by his grandson, Joseph H. Bellamy, a learned attorney and farmer who built the present residence.  The latter's daughter Elizabeth Mason Bellamy married the Rev. A. G. Loomis who was a Bethlehem Pastor, and they lived for a number of years in the Bellamy house, and thus the place has been occupied by four generations of the Bellamy family.  Just south of the house on the village green has been erected a monument on the site of the first meeting house in which Dr. Bellamy ministered.

In digging for the standards for the new tablet, it was discovered that Dr. Bellamy's remains were placed in a vault made of stones, probably taken from his farm, of which the old cemetery was than a part.  The building of the vault was probably an unusual thing to do in those days and gives an idea of the respect and love that townspeople had for their distinguished fellow citizen........

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