A Community Landmark
Back in the 19th century, Frank and Henry Wallace were prestigious landowners in the Island View area and dedicated land on Chapel Drive for the building of a non-denominational Chapel. Plans to erect a Chapel were approved on July 4,1896. One year later - on July 4, 1897 - it was completed.
The original cost for the building was $1,532, with an additional cost of $125 to paint the exterior. Pine Orchard was a summer colony at the time, and the Chapel was built solely for summer services, which took place at 4pm every Sunday. With no resident minister, area ministers came from neighboring towns to lead services.
Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, a Pine Orchard family would host a student minister from the Yale Divinity School for the summer. In exchange for running a day camp for children and delivering a weekly sermon, the student’s living expenses were covered.
According to town historian Jane Bouley, the Chapel was closed for services in 1963, and the community stuck together in a move to save it. It has been a tradition for residents of Pine Orchard to make it their matrimonial setting.
Today, the Chapel is used for weddings, memorials, parties, concerts and more. A nominal fee helps to maintain the grounds, although residents are asked for voluntary contributions to cover expenses necessary to preserve the 120+ year-old building. Join us at the Chapel for your special day.
THE PINE ORCHARD UNION CHAPEL
25 Chapel Drive
Branford, CT 06405
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Join us each July 4th (rain or shine) for the annual Pine Orchard Union Chapel Parade. All are welcome and encouraged to wear costumes and decorate bikes, golf carts, wagons and scooters.
Parade steps off at 9:00am sharp.
Board of Directors
Melodie Lane O'Connor