Grindal Rawson in Hadlyme, CT

Upon being expelled, quite forcefully, from the church in South Hadley on that eventful day in October, 1741, Grindal continued to live in town for three years.  He eventually found a position in the Congregational Church in Hadlyme, CT.


Even today Hadlyme is extremely rural.  There is no postal address by that name.  It is partly in East Haddam and partly in Lyme (population 2000), with a population density (74/sq.mi,) less than one tenth that of South Hadley.  East Haddam is known for the Goodspeed Opera House and Gillette Castle.  Lyme is best known for a certain tick-borne disease discovered there in 1976 and is not to be confused with the much larger town of Old Lyme. 


The first meeting house in Lyme was built in 1743.  Grindal was installed in 1745 and his parsonage was built in 1747.  Grindal’s church was taken down in 1840 and a new one dedicated a few months later in 1841,  It is this church that is still standing, hard by the cemetery in which Grindal and his family are buried.  Beautifully maintained, the church is lucky to have 20 worshipers on a Sunday to listen to the part-time minister, Ann Crites.   Not many yards away is Grindal’s parsonage, occupied by Donald and Marion Buck, loyal church members and church historians.  It was Donald who, some years ago, had the good sense to move the headstone of Grindal into the narthex of the church, even though it is strictly forbidden by Connecticut law to disturb a gravesite.  The old stones outside are so badly weathered the inscriptions are no longer discernible.


The Rawson family greatly improved their standard of living on moving to Hadlyme.  From a very simple one-story 20‘ X 40’ house in South Hadley he was given a 2 1/2 story center chimney house on 21 acres of land.  The present lot is 19 acres, testimony to the slow growth of Lyme in the last two and half centuries.


Grindal must have joined a like-minded congregation who were as conservative as he was and who did not espouse the Half-Way Covenant.  He was the minister there for 32 years until he died at the age of 70 in 1777.


Ken Williamson


Click here for photos of Grindal’s cemetery, the church of 1841, and his parsonage of 1745.

 
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