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Converted Church Escape In Upstate Winery (& Suffragette) Country

2098 River St, Lisle, NY 13797, USA
$199,000

Description

“The traveler finds himself [or herself] suddenly inspired with new hope, on catching view of the four-pronged top of the meeting house; assured of having discovered where civilization abounds and where piety asserts its empire.”

You say you want an escape from it all? This soaring 1825 account describes a view of the converted First Congregational Church of Lisle, located on three quarters of an acre along the banks of a picturesque river only three hours from Manhattan and on the winery route to Ithaca. This could be your dream home or ideal weekend getaway!

Built in 1822 (founded 1797) this postcard-pretty structure is the oldest edifice west of the Borscht Belt and thrived for over a century. Among its congregants were “Ladies of Lisle” — the sorority of Suffragettes (see pics) who in 1918 became the FIRST women to vote in New York — and the family of oil baron John D. Rockefeller who was born a few miles northeast. But eventually, church membership declined and in 1957, it closed. The church was purchased by a family who in the 1970s converted it to a residence, removing one of the two congregant stairwells to create a second-level full bath and a large kitchen near the altar. Today, virtually unchanged in its exterior character, the building stands as an historical beacon and continues to inspire the traveler as it did two centuries ago. High above the main entrance, the church’s 954-pound bell still has the power to resonate. Occasionally the church is visited by those associated with its past, or who wish to photograph some of the church’s thirty arched stained glass windows. The most exquisite of them sits atop the altar: a triptych of the Resurrection gifted to the church in 1914, created by a Southern Tier artisan whose talents rivaled that of contemporaries Tiffany and LaFarge.

Many improvements and upgrades were completed in 2017-2018 by the present owners. These include but are not limited to:

*Installation of 30-year metal roof on entire church
*Restoration of bell tower features [under contract]
*Installation of new shingle roof on the garage/barn
*Installation of high-efficiency Rinnai gas furnaces
*Refurbishment of existing 90k btu coal furnace
*Rustic double-blade ceiling fans beneath balconies
*New electrical outlets & junctions run throughout
*Custom storm doors preserving original wood doors
*Renovation of guest bedrooms on the lower level
*Upgraded plumbing systems, appliances & MORE

*Also: High-capacity Samsung washer/dryer [New, under warranty]

Included in the purchase is an historical archive which includes the antique photo images in the listing, documentary research, press articles, and a museum-quality hand-rendered map of the area drawn circa 1830. The historical marker has been temporarily removed while a typographical error is corrected. In 2 years, the church turns 200.

Please note there are no interments at the church. Many were married but none buried. Behind the church is a tall grassy levee for watching the Tioughnioga River flow past and perfect for sledding in winter, but no cemetery. A marble headstone sits¬† in the yard however it’s a collectible left by the family that converted the church in the ’70s.

Fun Fact: Local lore has it the church was once awarded a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the longest beam cut from a single piece of timber!

Thanks for looking! Updated pics to come!

Detail

  • Property ID
    222319
  • 3
    Bedrooms
  • 1
    Bathrooms
  • Square Footage
    3000 sqft
  • Lot Size
    0.75 acres
  • Church
    Style
  • Icon
    Year Built
    1822

Updated on May 30, 2020 at 4:03 pm

Address

  • Address: 2098 River St, Lisle, NY 13797, USA
  • City: Lisle
  • State/county: New York
  • Zip/Postal Code: 13797
  • Country: United States

Contact Agent

River Street Church
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