The twelve Memorial stained-glass windows were all made by the Spence, Bell Company of Boston and were installed in time for Sunday service on May 24, 1903. The windows memorialize two early ministers, active members of the church, the Sunday school organized in 1819, and the Christian Endeavor Society organized in 1891. These stained-glass windows reflect well the many families who made the history of this church from 1771 to the present. It was said that the Woodman and Boutwell Memorial windows were the costliest of all the windows, priced at $150 each.
The Emery window, damaged in the hurricane of 1938, was completely restored in 2016, at a cost of $10,000. The windows were covered outside by protective Lexan in 1987, at a cost of $5,085, and new protective Lexan was installed on the windows in 2017, as part of an LCHIP grant.
This window is at the east end of the church in the chancel area, left of the alter. It is known as the Sacrificial window. It has a cross adorned with (some say) red roses, a symbol of martyrdom. Others say the flowers are red poppies , in reference to the Passion of Christ because of the inference of sleep and death printed above the cross ("Thou hast put gladness in my heart. I will both lay me down in peace and sleep. For the Lord only makest me dwell in safety." Psalm 4, Verse 7). Also depicted above is the Kingdom of Heaven, with a chalice (the symbol of Christian faith), the cup used at Holy Communion. Below the decorated cross is a wreath of grapes, also signifying Communion.
Within the wreath are the words "In Memoriam, Rev. Joseph Woodman, 1771 Pioneer Pastor 1806, Esther W. Woodman".
The first window on the left is in memory of the Perkins and Sanborn families, a gift from Mrs. John Perkins (Carolyn W. Sanborn Perkins). Both the Perkins and Sanborn families were well known, established residents of the town of Sanbornton, from its earliest roots. The History of Sanbornton, NH, written by Moses T. Runnels, gives an exhaustive account History of Sanbornton, NH, of the lives of these prominent Sanbornton families. This window shows the Epiphany Star and the star of Jacob, indicating the manifestation of Jesus to the Gentiles. It is adorned with the fleur de lis, a popular symbol of Mary and also of royalty. A clematis and vine are also shown in the decoration. The vine is one of the most referenced symbols in the Bible, expressing the relationship between God and his people.
Imprinted on the window is "In memory of the Perkins and Sanborn families".
The third window on the left memorializes Jeremiah Burley Osgood and Samuel and Martha A. Thompson. Jeremiah Osgood was a smart and prosperous farmer who was well respected in Sanbornton. Samuel and Martha A. Thompson lived across the road from the Osgoods on Calef Hill Road). They also had a farm and both were considered good friends, with a loyalty to their church. Samuel was the town's representative to the General Court, as well as president of the Sanbornton Farmer's Club.
Mrs. Laura Ellen Brown (granddaughter to the Thompsons) was the donor of this window. This window is very decorative with fleur de lis and a modified cross Botonee, with trefoil ends, is adorned with clematis vine. The cross and the crown above it symbolize the reward of the faithful in the life after death to those who believe in the crucified Savior. The bottom portion of the window ha s palm leaves behind the scroll. Branches of the palm tree were regarded as sacred and were carried by the Jews as a sign of victory.
"In Memoriam, J. Burley Osgood, Samuel M. Thompson and Martha A. Thompson" are printed on this window.
Imprinted on this window is "In loving remembrance of May Louise Currier, by her mother, Mrs. Lizzie M. Nichols".
The middle window on the right is in memory of Jonathan M. Taylor and Huldah Lane Taylor. Jonathan was a superior blacksmith, farmer, town clerk, General Court representative, county commissioner and pillar of the Sanbornton Congregational Church. He was a leader in the Democratic party, a justice of the peace and a prominent citizen. His wife, Huldah, was the daughter of Joseph H. and Polly Lane. Jonathan and Huldah's daughter Carrie donated this memorial window.
The Taylor faithful in memorial window portrays the crown and cross that symbolizes the reward of the the life after death to those who believe in the crucified Savior. There is fleur de shown, a symbol for Mary and an emblem of royalty. Beautiful lilies are depicted, indicative of Easter, immorality and purity.
Printed on this window are the words "In Memoriam, Jonathan M. Taylor and Huldah L.Taylor".
This window is decorated with a crown (a mark of victory or distinction ) surrounded by a white lily (indicating purity) wreath. Fleur de lis (symbol of royalty) and vines are shown around the window edges. The vineyard is considered the protected place where children of God flourish under the tender care of God. In the center of the window within a modified cross are clematis flowers on vines.
It was reported by Catherine Currier that the force of the winds of the hurricane of 1938 blew out the panes of glass from the Emery window. It is believed that the light brown panes are the replaced ones.
In April of 2013, the Emery window was bowed and starting to sag, so the decision was made to have it professionally repaired. Don Cline of Cline Conservators in Andover, NH was chosen for the restoration process, with Granite State Glass assisting.
Printed on this window is "In Memoriam, Dea. Joseph Emery and his wife Judith L. Emery".
Over the stairway to the right is the memorial window which shows the letters "C" and "E." Members of the Christian Endeavor Society donated this window. The Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor was organized on June 28, 1891 with Harry E. Jacobs as president. Then a Junior Society of Christian Endeavor was organized in 1898 with Carrie P. Taylor as its first president. This society was later phased out and replaced with the Pilgrim Fellowship. In 1903, J. Sherman Currier was the Christian Endeavor Society president. The purpose of these societies was to lead young people to commit themselves to Jesus Christ as Lord and train them for active Christian service in the church as well as in their lives.
The photographs contained herein do not adequately show the true beauty of the windows that have adorned the church since 1903. One must view them for themselves (especially when the sun strikes them) to truly appreciate their amazing beauty.
Much of the information included in this summary is from the publication "History of The Memorial Stained-Glass Windows", written by Mildred (Milly) B. Sanborn Shaw in 1995, Historian of the Sanbornton Congregational Church, UCC. Mrs. Shaw's publication more than adequately describes in detail the lives of the people memorialized, the meanings of the symbols within the glass, the designer of the windows, and so on.
THE STORY OF THE MEMORIAL STAINED-GLASS WINDOWS
On Feb 2, 1903, a meeting notice was presented with regards to seeing what action would be taken relative to "acceptance and putting in of memorial windows for our house of worship". Later that month, on the 18th, at the Annual meeting, a committee was formed to look into the matter of the windows. On April 22, a report was presented by the committee. The report was accepted and adopted, with a vote of the windows themselves being accepted as well. The committee was further authorized to order and put in the windows, with assistance from the executive committee, if direction was so needed.
How the stained-glass windows were made...
Our windows are made from so-called "modern" glass (not blown glass). Molten glass is passed through corrugated rollers which not only give a rippled surface, but ultimately increases the amount of light in the window. Chemicals and gasses are used in the molten glass to make the textures, colors and sheens. Cames or lead lines (double-grooved strips of lead) hold the glass sections in place and are made to fit into the specific design of the window. After a joining, fitting and filling process (to make the window airtight) the window, now ready to install, requires a framework of iron bars to hold them in place. How the Spence, Bell Company was chosen to design and construct the stained-glass windows is unknown, but their work has been admired and complimented in our church for many years.
The people memorialized in the stained glass windows...
On entering the church, one's eyes immediately turn to the decorative memo in the narthex, six in the nave and two in the chancel. Each window has it's own unique religious symbolism, along with the names of the donors and people memorialized.
This window is in memory of Rev. Joseph Woodman. He was ordained first pastor Sanbornton Congregational Church and minister of the town on November 13, 1771, the same day that the church was organized. He was highly respected and served as chaplain in the Revolutionary War in 1777. He served as our pastor until 1806. He died in 1807.
On the right side of the chancel is the Rev. James and Mary P. Boutwell memorial window. Reverend Boutwell was the third pastor of the Congregational Church. He married Mary P. Abbott in 1837 and served as pastor of our church from 1852 to 1865. It is said he was much loved by his parishioners, as he "dwelled upon the doctrine of Grace". Sixty members were added to the Sanbornton Congregational Church during his ministry.
The cross on this window is adorned with white lilies, which symbolizes the Purity of also been Christ. The lily also symbolizes Easter and immortality. Lilies have saints, the virtue of chastity. Above the lilies, the open Bible symbolizes the Word of God and below them is the wreath of grapes, signifying the Holy Communion. attributed to the virgin.
Imprinted on this window are the words, "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord. They may rest from their labors and their works do follow them." (Revelations 14, Verse 13) and memory of Rev. James Boutwell, third pastor of this church, and his wife, Mary P. Abbott Boutwell". Also inscribed on this window is the name of the maker, Spence, Bell Company, Boston.
The middle window on the left in the nave is the Lane memorial window. The Lanes were another prominent family of early Sanbornton. It is said they were of strong Christian character. They became professors, deacons, teachers, town clerks, map makers and printers. Charles Lane even became a US Marshall for the state of NH, while his brother Joseph became an inn keeper, owning the well-known Lane Tavern. It is Joseph's daughter, Hannah, who donated this memorial window.
This window is decorated with clematis vines, fleur de lis and olive branches. Since olive trees provide shelter and opportunity for rest, and olive oil is used for ointments, the olive branch is a symbol for peace, harmony and healing - if it is myrtle, it is a symbol of love. Above the vines and branches, the open Bible symbolizes the Word of God.
Printed on this window is "In Memory Of The Lanes, Given By Mrs. Hannah Lane Taylor".
On the right, near the entrance, is the May Louise Currier memorial window. She was the daughter of James and Lizzie (Paine) Nichols and the wife of J. Sherman Currier. Joining in 1892, the family was very active in the church. May Louise Currier died in 1899 at the young age of 29. It was her mother, Lizzie, who made this memorial window her gift to the church.
This decorative window displays Easter Lilies, the symbol of purity. There is also an ivy vine, representative of death and immortality. The ivy is always green, which indicates fidelity and eternal life. It also clings to its support, a symbol of attachment and undying affection. Above the lilies is the open Bible (the Word of God) on a six pointed star, the Star of David, the shape of David's shield. It is sometimes called the Creator's Star, the six points being the six days of creation.
The third window on the right is in memory of Deacon Joseph Emery and Judith L. Emery. Joseph was an enterprising farmer and a deacon of the Congregational Church, where he and his wife Judith (another daughter of Joseph H. and Polly Lane) were active members.
The two windows at the church entrance doors memorialize Nathan Taylor and his wife Abigail E. Taylor. Nathan was a lieutenant in the Revolutionary War, a very worthy farmer, and a justice of the peace. He served in the State Legislature, Council and Senate. He was a prominent member of the church, giving liberally to the charities of the day. His wife, Abigail Elkins was the second child of his father's second wife. They had six children.
These memorial windows show the Alpha ("In memory of Nathan Taylor") and a modified heart shaped Omega ("In memory of Abigail E. Taylor"), the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, which signify that Jesus is the beginning and the end of all things. The letters surrounded by vines and fleur de lis depicted with jewel are like pieces of glass which look like precious stones when light shines through them.
The window Over the stairway on the left shows the entwined letters S. This window was donated by members of the Sunday School in 1903. Records show that the Congregational Sunday School was first organized in 1819, with John S. Lane as the superintendent or "conductor".