In 1856, when Lee was just 79 years old, a group of men called for a meeting of all the people interested in organizing an Episcopal Church. The first service was held that year in the Methodist Meeting House. By August, a committee had been formed to select a site for the proposed edifice. The next month this group purchased the “Dean Lot” on Franklin Street for two hundred dollars. “Friendly Congregationalists” conveyed a strip of land needed for access to the lot, for “good will”. By January 1858 the church was built. The cost was between seven and eight thousand dollars. On Septuagesima Sunday of that year, the first service was held in the Gothic-style wooden structure they had built.
On December 23rd, 1861, a fire of “mysterious origin” claimed the building and all its contents, except the Bible. The cornerstone for a new building was laid on September 4th, 1862. Eleven years later, when all indebtedness had been paid, the Rt. Rev. B. H. Paddock, Bishop of the Diocese, consecrated it as St. George’s Episcopal Church.
The Church was hit with another disaster in February of 1879. A fire of considerable size broke out in a block on Main Street. Sparks from the fire fell on the church’s slated roof. The intense heat ignited the rafters underneath, and for a second time, the church building went down, leaving only the stone walls standing.
As the building was rebuilt for a third time, some changes were made to the interior. For example, the organ was installed in the front of the church rather than in the gallery as before. During the next few years, many memorials were given. Most notable among them were two beautiful stained glass windows. One, entitled “The Light of the World”, was installed in the nave of the church. The window pictures Jesus knocking at a door with no outside latch, bringing us the message that our hearts, like the door, must be opened within.
In the early 1920’s, a parish house was built adjoining the church. Previous to its completion, all social activities of the parish were held in a home, owned by the church, on upper Main Street. In addition, the services of a Blow Boy were no longer required due to a gift of an electric blower no longer needed by Trinity Parish in Lenox.
In 1958, an adjoining lot to the east was purchased as a site for a new Rectory, replacing one which had served St. George’s for fifty years.
In 1991 the Community Emergency Needs Resource Center was created. The center was
located downstairs in the parish hall. It is now located in the town Aroldi Building and gives food to needy families each Saturday morning.
In September of 2010 we sold the Rectory to the Town of Lee for a much needed town parking lot. In May of 2010 we sold the Church and Parish Hall to Lee College Internship program