New Canaan Now & Then: The Congregational Church

The history of New Canaan is tightly entwined with the history of the Congregational Church. By 1731 enough members in the New Canaan area were tired of traveling to either Norwalk or Stamford to attend services on Sunday, and they petitioned the colonial government to form their own parish in the area. Their request was approved and the Society of Canaan Parish was established, which covered just about the same area that New Canaan does today. The entire membership of the church was only twenty-seven people. With the church established, it began to collect taxes from both members and nonmembers living in the parish.

Here are 28 Current New Canaan Chamber Member Businesses That Also Belonged in Back in ’82

Here’s a short list of sweeping economic crises that have affected, directly or indirectly, every U.S. business since 1982: Black Monday, savings and loan crisis, subprime mortgage crisis and Great Recession. Locally, success in business involves nimbleness and acumen, and far more than that—interpersonal skills, involvement, diligence and imagination. Recently, the head of an organization that’s central for many local businesses, the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce, came by chance across a list of 28 current members that also were members back in 1982. “They’ve supported the chamber, supported the town and been here for a long, long time,” Executive Director Tucker Murphy said. “We want to congratulate them on that.”

Here’s the list, in alphabetical order (not every single business has been a continuous member of the chamber, though many—including Bob’s Sports, Karl Chevrolet, Walter Stewart’s and Stewart’s Spirits—have been):

Ann Taylor
Baskin Robbins
Bob’s Sports
Brotherhood & Higley
Congregational Church
Family Britches
Franco’s Wine
Hersam Acorn- New Canaan Advertiser
Hoyt Funeral Home
Hutchinson Tree Company

Karl Chevrolet
League of Women Voters
Merrill Lynch
New Canaan Board of Realtors
New Canaan Community Nursery School
New Canaan Country School
New Canaan Library
New Canaan Nature Center
Roger Sherman Inn
Silvermine Arts Guild
Stewart’s Spirits
Taylor’s Luggage
Visiting Nurse Association of New Canaan
Walter Stewart’s
Waveny Care Center
Whitney Shop

Ties to the local chamber run very deep for businesses such as Walter Stewart’s, recently recognized as Business of the Year.

God’s Acre Gets a New Evergreen Tree for Christmas Caroling

New Canaan resident Scott Gress lost 14 of the 80-foot pine trees on his property when Superstorm Sandy struck two years ago. Shortly after, it occurred to Gress while driving past God’s Acre that if the iconic fir tree there came down, there’d be no centerpiece for one defining community event for New Canaanites: Christmas Eve caroling. Gress said he identifies New Canaan strongly with the annual Dec. 24 gathering on the sloping green in front of the Congregational Church. “There’s no question about it.