December 25, 1849 was the first time they were all able to meet together in their own church building, a carpenter gothic style edifice which had just been constructed at a cost of $2,500 The building was located right in the heart of Burnt Hills and situated on Lakehill Road, a street that in later years was renowned for its overarching trees that formed a canopy above the street.
The land for the new church had been donated by Mrs. Cady Hollister and Mr. Isaac Wooley, two local residents. But Rev. Edward Davis, who had previously been a pastor at St. Paul’s Church in Charlton, was probably most influential in getting the building constructed. He also purchased the building to the west side of the driveway to present-day Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School, the building which became the new church’s rectory shortly before his death. In addition, he purchased the lot to the front of the church, which would become land for the Parish Hall in later years.
Dr. Davis, who lived in what we now call the Buell Mansion on Midline Road in Ballston Lake, took no salary as the pastor of the church for over six years. He and his family donated the original baptismal font, the church bell, and much of the land for the cemetery behind the church. Mrs. Davis was also instrumental in funding several stained-glass windows in the church.
In 2017, Calvary Episcopal Church was named to the National Register of Historic Places and, this year, 2021, the church celebrates another major accomplishment: the restoration of the church steeple designed to look very much like the first steeple on the church many years ago.
This article was written by Rick Reynolds, Ballston Town Historian and is presented by the Saratoga County History Roundtable and the Saratoga County History Center. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook.
Photo: The carpenter gothic Calvary Episcopal Church in Burnt Hills, Saratoga County, New York (courtesy Wikimedia user Peter Flass).