Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Weathervane Wednesday ~ One of the Oldest Weathervanes in Massachusetts

Weathervane Wednesday is an on-going series of photographs I post weekly.  I started out by publishing only weather vanes from the Londonderry area, but now I've been finding interesting weather vanes from all over New England.  Sometimes these weather vanes are whimsical, or historical, but all are very unique.  Often, my readers tip me off to some very special and unusual weather vanes.

Today's weather vane is from somewhere in Massachusetts.

Do you know the location of weather vane #309?  Scroll down to see the answer...





At the NERGC (New England Regional Genealogy Consortium) conference April 26 - 29 at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield, Massachusetts attendees were graced with a beautiful view of the Court Square right outside the glass wall of the conference center.  Across this grassy common is the Old First Church.  And atop the steeple of this church is one of the oldest weather vanes in Massachusetts.

The Springfield First Church was first gathered in 1637.  The first meetinghouse stood on another corner of Court Square. This is the fourth building for this congregation. The present structure was erected in 1819. The Congregational church (United Church of Christ) disbanded and this structure was bought by the city of Springfield in 2008, and is currently rented out by another church organization.

This weather cock was brought from England in 1750 along with two other weathervanes (one went to the First Church in Newburyport, and the other went to South Church in Boston).  The weather vane originally stood on the third church building on this spot, and was used by the congregation for the fourth building's steeple, too.     The weather cock is a common sight on churches, since the rooster is a sign of repentance from the story of Peter denying Jesus Christ in the bible.  This weathervane measures four feet and weighs 49 pounds.

From the book First Church in Springfield 1637 - 1915, Springfield, Massachusetts, 1915 (available online at archive.org):

"How dear to our hearts is the old First Church rooster, 
When near or when far he's presented to view: 
For years he has stood there with never a murmur 
And never a whisper of tales that he knew: 
How much he has seen from the top of the steeple. 
So true to his post as the seer of the church: 
The bright shining rooster, the patient old rooster, 
The dear faithful rooster that ne'er leaves his perch." 

Click here to see the entire Weathervane Wednesday series of posts!  

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Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Weathervane Wednesday ~  One of the Oldest Weathervanes in Massachusetts", Nutfield Genealogy, posted May 3, 2017, (http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2017/05/weathervane-wednesday-one-of-oldest.html: accessed [access date]).

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