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OUR HISTORY

Zion Episcopal Church is located in the historic Erie Canal village of Palmyra, New York. When Zion was formed in 1804, this area was frontier land. The first congregation met in homes and other buildings.

 

Zion was officially organized as a parish in the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester in 1823. The first church was built on this site on the Four Corners of Palmyra in 1827.

This first building was known as a "Hobart Box,"

named for Bishop Henry Hobart. 

Our current worship space was built in 1872 and 1873. The construction

was overseen by then-rector Rev. John G. Webster, who fed the workers 

and housed them in the attic of the Rectory next door. Rev. Webster also

helped with the work. He was a carpenter and craftsman and some of 

his handiwork can still be seen today. His daughter painted the angels

on the wall of the chancel behind the altar. 

 

The Sanctuary is made from Medina red sandstone. It also 

has stained glassed windows and a tower. When the building was 

constructed in the 1870s, the total cost was $41,000. 

One of the highlights of our worship space is the stained glass windows, 

which depict the life of Jesus Christ. There are 150-200 pieces of stained

glass in each window. 

Our steeple was built as a memorial to the three daughters of the George Cuyler family. The steeple is 125 feet tall. The bell in the steeple is from the original church building and dates back to 1831. It is still rung every so often. The mason who built the steeple was named Mr. Jones and he was brought to Palmyra from England. He fell in love with the village and stayed here after the project was complete.

 

The Webster-Sawyer Chapel, located to the right of the chancel area is named for Rev. Webster and his granddaughter Mary.