9 • Site of Reformed Dutch Church
In 1769, the Reformed Dutch Church built an edifice on what is now the corner of Center Street and Arthur Kill Road (not far from the Voorlezer's House which had been its meeting house in the previous century). This church was initially formed with support from the Reformed Dutch Church in Port Richmond as well as an informal alliance with local Presbyterian congregants. The building was destroyed by the British in 1776, and in 1808 a new church was built on the site.
The second church structure was designed to be 43 x 33 feet in size, with a steeple 100 feet high extending two feet beyond the main building. It was enlarged to a size of 68 x 33 feet by 1858. It became known as the South Reformed Dutch Church (to distinguish it from the Port Richmond congregation on the island's north shore). The Parsonage which served as home to four successive pastors of the church remains standing at the corner of Arthur Kill Road and Clarke Avenue.
The congregation was struggling by 1875, and the church closed its doors ca. 1878. The church building was sold by the mid-1880s; it was then moved to another location on Center Street for use as a storage facility for the nearby Carriage Factory. The church cemetery was also closed and bodies were removed and re-interred at the Moravian Cemetery in New Dorp. The remaining property, including the Parsonage, was purchased by Parsonage resident Leah Flake in 1886.
The church structure at its final location was demolished in 1903.