This is part of a series of Hamilton and Wenham, Massachusetts, oral histories of the towns, produced by William Heitz and Edmund Josephs from 1986 through 1995. It was originally taped on February 18, 1992. It was uploaded to the Internet Archive by Sarah Lauderdale, Head of Reference at Hamilton-Wenham Public Library, on Wednesday, March 26, 2014. Our thanks to William Heitz for permission to upload this content to the Internet Archive. Our thanks also to volunteer John Brucker for his description of the interview, included below.
Summary: 350th Anniversary of the First Church of Wenham, Reverend Johnson’s first Sunday service [Feb, 1968], How Rev. Johnson became pastor of the church, Rupert Lillie’s association with the church, Blanche Day’s association with the church and her wedding, Beginnings of the church in Salem [1600s], John Fiske, Hugh Peter, and a group of followers decision to leave Salem and form a new church in Wenham (Salem Farms) , Creation of monument dedicated to Hugh Peter, Establishment of a Meeting House on Tars Hill near Wenham Lake [Mid 1600s], Friendly relations with Indians, Early unsuccessful attempt to organize a church , Discussion of second, third, and fourth meeting houses sited on the town green, Construction of the fifth meeting house or the present day church, Enlargement of the original building , Rupert’s recollections of notable ministers particularly Joseph Gerrish, Opposition to the witch trials by Joseph Gerrish and several Wenham citizens, Presentation of photographs related Minister’s Row on old burial hill.
Keywords: The following names and terms were used in this interview: Bill Bursaw, George King, Christmas Cantata, Church Choir, Sunday School, Salem, Roger Williams, Hugh Peter, John Fiske, Salem Farms, William Lord, Pond Hill, Meeting House Lane, General John Fiske, Old Burial Hill, Enon, Burnham Hall, First church of Wenham, Congregational church of Hamilton, Antipas Newman, Wenham Teahouse, Austin Killum, Moses Foster, Joseph Gerrish, Weathervane of the third meeting house,