PILGRIM CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
In 1853, a small group from the Center Congregational Church
in Harwich Center met to discuss the possibility of establishing
a church in Harwich Port, ".....for the better accommodation
of the inhabitants of said vicinity." A year later, on February
7, 1854, a vote was taken to build a meeting house at a cost
not to exceed $6,000.
There were only twenty charter church members in 1854, but they
had help from other people in the community. Church records indicate
79 men were the original shareholders who subscribed $100 each.
These men were sea captains, ordinary seamen, carpenters, farmers,
millers, lawyers, sail makers and merchants. A year later, on
February 1, 1855, the church building and vestry were completed
and officially dedicated. On April 25, 1855, William A. McCollom
was ordained and installed as First Pastor of Pilgrim Church
In 1879, the Dorcas Society, an established group of interested
church and community members voted to add a fellowship hall to
connect to the vestry. The cost to build was $750, and in 1929
the room was enlarged and the kitchen renovated. Today, the Dorcas
Room is a place for meetings, memorial services and special functions
in a warm, welcoming setting. In 2002, an inside handicap lift
was added for access into this room from the sanctuary level,
a gift from the estate of church member Elizabeth H. Heap, a
co-president of the Dorcas Society. Downstairs are Sunday School
classrooms, conference and meeting rooms and a new Children's
Library, dedicated in 2004 to the memory of long-time church
member, Irma Hull by her family.
In 1955, another ground-breaking took place for the construction
of the Pilgrim Church Parish House as a memorial to the founding
members and families. Suitable for large gatherings, it includes
a sizeable kitchen and a stage. Now known as Monbleau Hall, it
was dedicated to The Reverend Dr. Charles H. Monbleau, who served
Pilgrim Church as minister from 1955 - 1985. His ministry was
enhanced by the devotion and support of his wife Lola, who was
Music Director from 1955 - 1989.
Part of the 1955 project included offices and a parlor. The
parlor was dedicated to Ralph H. Snow, devoted church member
and President of Cape Cod 5 Cents Savings Bank. The Snow Parlor
is a quiet place with comfortable chairs and is home to Pilgrim
In 1966, the Dorcas Room was moved to its present location to
permit construction of a chancel in the sanctuary. At the same
time, a new organ was purchased, a gift in memory of Mr. William
E. Foster, from his wife Alta and the Whitehouse family. A chapel
was added to the sanctuary, made possible by a gift from long-time
friends, Dr. Willard J. and Mrs. Louise Hollingshead. Today the
chapel is used for the informal 5:30 PM Saturday service, and
is suitable for small weddings, baptisms and memorial services
and as an overflow area for sanctuary seating.
glass window above the chancel altar was a gift
from Mr. Russell N. Monbleau (the brother of The Reverend Dr.
Charles H. Monbleau), and was dedicated on December 11, 1966
in loving memory of their parents, Charles J. and Alice Monbleau.
Today, more than 150 years after its founding, Pilgrim Congregational
Church remains a testament of faith and history, its tall white
steeple a Main Street landmark for both the community and boaters
on Nantucket Sound.