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The Rich History Of The Church Asylum in Troy NY

Updated on October 22, 2020
Canterbury House Today.It has come along way.
Canterbury House Today.It has come along way. | Source

The History Of The Church Asylum, Dates Back To 1854, with a very long History.

The history of The Church Asylum in Troy NY goes back to more than 150 years ago. Back then in August 1854 in St. Pauls chapel a group of men and women formed a committee called the Brotherhood of St. Barnabas. The idea was to start a house of mercy to help the aged, sick, infirm and the destitute. It was approved and action on the project had quickly followed.

On November 9th, 1854 in a house located at 5 Harrison Place. Troy NY, was opened with generous seed money and the efforts of many volunteers. And a service was held in honor of the opening of the Church Asylum. The home at that time was for woman only. Then the Church Asylum moved in 1858 to 52 Federal St. Troy NY. Then it was rebuilt after the great fire in May of 1862 and succored to those in need until it's 1871. Pending construction of the then home to be demolished. Since 1863 the Church home has been governed by the board of trustees, cleargy and laymen.

Then they changed the name to, "The Troy Episcopal Church home", and it was built in 1873 in Troy NY on Broadway & 7th Ave. In 1873 it cost $24,000 to build the home. The furnishings costed about $2,000. That home lasted until the time a new home was built up on Mt Ida hill ( they called it that back in the old days ). Which is now basically called Pawling Ave, In Troy NY. The building is across the street from the cemetery.

The new home was ready to move into on August 18, 1966. The home was built on Pawling Ave, and was the site of the former Mt. Ida Memorial Presbyterian Church. It cost almost 10x's the amount of the old home to be built. Also the home would only house 16 residents, though the old house could hold nearly twice that number of residents. Due to the inflation , and the rising costs prohibited a larger facility from being built. The endowments and income could not keep up the pace with the rising cost. The board of trustees had to regretfully increase the rates for the residents upon moving into their new quarters. In the new home each bedroom had it's own private bathroom. There is also a small chapel as well, which services are held, and is open for the residents anytime they feel the need to step in and say a prayer or two. And everything was brand new, and of course there is a kitchen staff, and they provide 3 square meals a day, which are home cooked from scratch. And desserts are prepared homemade as well.

The first Administrator at the new home was Mrs. Helen Doty, as well as Audrey and Virginia Gregory. There have have been a few other Administrators since then. Now up to date : They have let men live in the home. And now there is a male who is the Administrator of the Canterbury House. Which to my understanding, it has always been females. Many changes have taken place since the good old days. The good thing is how this home has survived all this time since basically 1864. I find it really amazing!

Today it is know as Canterbury House. And this is where I work. I so love the rich history behind this place. It has withstood the hands of time. We are all about making our residents feel like family! I would not trade my job for anything. Our staff is awesome. We are giving and really care about the people that live here at the home. We are always there for them. I can only hope when I get older I will be able to go to a family type of place like this. Though my real thought is about the fact that this place is so much a part of the history of Troy NY, and the fact it has survived so long is just awesome! It may not be big and fancy like some other places out there, but at Canterbury House it's about warm and cozy, and being close knit.

Update: It is with a sad heart that I write this. Canterbury House has closed it's doors for good. It had a very good run for many a years. We had many good people pass thru it's doors residents and employees alike. But like many things not everything can pass the test of time and last forever.

It was sad for everyone. Nobody knew where they would go, and a little worried about the unknown of it all and not wanting to leave. We all will take good memories and good times had with us in our hearts, as everyone at Canterbury were family. The happy times shared, Birthdays, Halloween and Christmas parties. Even everyday stuff like Bingo and playing cards, sitting on the patio in summer chillin and chattin, and just being there and spending time with the residents meant so much to them. The funny moments and sad moments and times will be remembered , because Canterbury was a safe cozy home for all our dear residents.

Now we just have memories a good times and the history that it came with,


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