No description of John J. Brandegee’s life would be complete without a specific mention of the church he helped found, Grace Church, in Utica, N.Y.
A passage from the church’s history reads:
The cornerstone was laid on July 10, 1856, but by September 1859, it seemed as if the edifice might never be completed due to financial problems. However, the Rev. John J. Brandegee, third rector, was a man of great courage and experience and it was through his persistence that enough money was raised to finish the church and pay off the mortgage. On May 20, 1860, the first service was held in the new church and on Easter Day, 1864, the $30,000 mortgage was paid. The church was consecrated on August 16, 1864, but unfortunately, Dr. Brandegee died a week after presenting the last offerings which freed the church from its debt. Truly it may be said of him that “…his real offering was himself, and that the church is his enduring memorial.”
Today, the church is still going strong, and actually houses several portraits of Brandegee, a bust of him, as well as one of the few extant contemporary copies of his book of sermons.
[Note: I have extremely low resolution photos of these portraits, kindly sent to me in the mid 90s by the church’s minister or perhaps historian, which I debated putting up here. The reproductions really need to be redone from the originals, though, in good lighting, with modern camera technology; even an iPad would probably be fine. A project for another day, however.–LSL]
The location and contact details for Grace Church are as follows:
Website for the church is here.
Facebook page is here.
Wikipedia entry is here.
An online walking tour can be viewed here. Note there are some irritating pop-up ads with this, but I still enjoyed it.
Lastly, you can get in touch at:
6 Elizabeth St,
Utica, NY 13501
Tel: (315) 733-7575