19th C. | St. Philip's Expansion
By 1837, our ties with St. Peter’s in Peekskill had diminished and a newly rebuilt St. Philip’s Church was consecrated by Bishop Onderdonk of the Episcopal Diocese of New York.
This refurbished wooden church served the community of Garrison until 1863, when the new stone church was completed. It’s thought that the pews and other material from the church were moved to a building on Route 9D at Manitou that became known as St. James Chapel of St. Philip’s parish. The red building on the western side of the road was removed in 2014 and is now remembered with a marker (see pictures on left).
Clergy from St. Philip’s would travel between the church and the chapel for Sunday services. During this period, ties with the Episcopal community in Cold Spring were established and St. Philip’s ministry was extended to that growing hamlet, centered around its new foundry. Services were conducted in Cold Spring on Sunday afternoons and a church school was organized.
In 1860, perceiving the needs of an expanding parish, Mr. Hoffman directed the vestry to undertake the design and construction of a new church building. Enthusiastic parishioners raised $10,000 to construct a new Victorian Gothic granite church which was designed by the prominent church architect, Richard Upjohn, a Garrison resident and vestry member at St. Philip’s. Upjohn had designed the new Trinity Church building in New York City a few years earlier. The new church was consecrated in 1862. (In 1995, the building was added to the New York State Register of Historic Places.)
Hamilton Fish, then a United States Senator and later, the Governor of New York, was elected to the vestry and would continue to serve until his death in 1893. Mr. Hoffman’s pivotal ministry was followed by that of another strong leader, the Reverend Albert Zabriskie Gray. During Mr. Gray’s ministry, a second little chapel was constructed on donated land off of Route 9 to provide spiritual guidance for families scattered to the east of Garrison proper.
A few years later, that property became the home of the Friars of the Atonement at Graymoor, in a complicated transaction that roiled many members of the St. Philip’s congregation and was finally resolved only by a decree from the state legislature in Albany. The conflict centered around an Episcopal Priest who started the Friars as an Episcopal monastic community and then took the congregation (and the property) into the Roman Catholic Church. To this day, many of the old time families at St. Philip’s believe that that land still belongs to us!