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and for over 100 years, the annual meeting of the society was held on that date.
An early history of New Haven County recounts that on Sunday, February 24, 1805, approximately two months after the organization of the North Milford Ecclesiastical Society, "Mr. Erastus Scranton, a candidate for the ministry who was studying at Yale, preached his first sermon at North Milford."
When Mr. Scranton graduated in July, he was ordained as the minister of the church. History also relates that when his father was asked about Erastus he replied, "He is preaching the everlasting Gospel to the heathen of North Milford." On March 13, 1805, the organization of the church with a membership of 54 occurred. These members had been dismissed by letter from the two Milford churches for this purpose.
Shortly thereafter, a plot just north of the meeting house was set aside as a burial ground or "God's Acre" and on November 2, 1805, Joseph, the young son of Joseph and Eunice Treat, became the first person to be buried there.
As noted earlier, a "winter school" was started in 1750; however, now that the church was organized in North Milford the next step was a school system. On November 6, 1806, the first meeting of the North Milford School Society took place and the area was divided into three school districts. The southern section was the First District with Jonah Treat as committeeman. David Treat II and Benjamin Fenn served as committeeman in the northern section, the Second District, and the western section, designated as the Third District. These districts were separate from the Milford School Society and after much discussion the amount of $599 was alloted from the Milford Budget for the expenses of North Milford Schools for one year.
The duties of the committeemen included supplying the teacher and making sure that the necessary supply of wood was readily available.
Meeting House Built
By 1807 the settlers in North Milford had their meeting house and Ecclesiastical Society, a minister and three school districts; however, they found that with their hard won meeting house came expenses. So on the first Monday, December 7, 1807, at their annual meeting, the members of the Ecclesiastical Society voted "that a tax of four cents and five mills be laid upon the Dollar upon the polls and rateable estate of the inhabitants of North Milford for the purpose of supporting the Gospel and defraying the necessary charges of said Society and that Benjamin Fenn be appointed Collector of above tax." At the same meeting it was also voted "that B. Fenn set monuments of stone in the burying ground, so as to make the lots conspicuous." In 1809 the Ecclesiastical Society decided at the annual meeting to build a more suitable building for public worship. It voted that "the Meeting House stand on the corner of Mr. Samuel Treat's lot, which he had donated for the purpose, and about two and a half rods north of the present Meeting House." This was felt to be necessary as 62 more members had been added to the church records.