St. John's Episcopal Church
The first Episcopal Service held in North Adams was in June of 1855. Using the Methodist Church, the Universalist Church, and Thayer’s Harmony Hall for the various locations, the early community was comprised of individuals from northwestern Massachusetts, upstate New York, and southern Vermont. In December of 1855, a meeting was held, and the Protestant Episcopal Parish in North Adams was established, choosing the name of St. John the Apostle for their community. It would not be until June of 1858 that a formal wooden building would be established on the north side of Summer Street in North Adams and December of that year until the first service was held in the new church building. St. John’s was consecrated on October 3, 1861.
The early wooden structure was used until 1868, at which time, a parishioner named Elizabeth M. Sibley offered to build a stone structure if the congregation raised the money to furnish it. Her deposit of $14,000 went a long way towards this goal, and on September 14, 1869, the new church was dedicated by the Bishop Manton Eastburn, who consecrated the wooden building in 1861. The stone for St. John’s was taken from the local ledge owned by Ivory Witt to the northwest of North Adams; the master mason at the time describing it as the finest stone in the state for building. The architects of the building were Earle and Fuller of Worcester, Massachusetts; stonework was done by Asa K. Lilly of Providence, Rhode Island, and R. I. Davis of Worcester took charge of the woodwork.
In 1884 a memorial bell was announced as an addition to the church and was added in 1885, being constructed by the Clinton H. Meanealy Bell Company of Troy, New York. Later in 1890 Mrs. Sibley made another generous donation that added a stone extension to the structure, allowing space for an organ, choir and new altar. The extension was completed in December of 1891, and the Church of St. John’s has stood since. The stained glass is Tiffany of New York, and the extension that holds the choir and altar retains the original mosaics made in 1890-91. Over the years, additions such as a parish house in 1893, and a rectory have been made, but the original stone structure has stood as is since the 1891 addition. Renovations in 1989-90 were made to allow for persons with disabilities access to the first floor of the parish house and main church.
In 2011, the church underwent its most significant change. In the early 2000’s church membership had declined considerably, both in North Adams at St. John’s, and in Adams at St. Mark’s. The Springfield Diocese, after study in 2009 and 2010, in order to keep the community alive, merged the two parishes, utilizing St. John’s building as home. It was renamed All Saints Church in light of the merger; however, one can still see the mosaic of the Eagle of St. John on the altar today.
On Saturday, September 14, 2019, All Saints celebrated its 150th Anniversary.