Our Stained Glass Windows
This history of the beautiful stained glass windows that adorn our church
~ written by Judy Oppert
Six stained glass memorial windows were added to the sanctuary between 1908 and 1909, replacing the former glass windows and shutters.
The windows were designed and made in Portland, Maine by Cyrus Hamlin Farley (1839-1934). Mr. Farley was the son of a ship owner and merchant. Cyrus learned the nautical instrument-making trade and as iron ships replaced wooden ships, he learned the skills for fitting and grinding eyeglass lenses. Later he moved into ornamental glass and standard glass windows.
In each of his businesses he developed new inventions and continued working at 13 Milk Street until two days before his death at the age of 94. Mr. Farley is also credited with creating the large arched stained glass windows of the Chestnut Street United Methodist Church in Portland as well as windows for the West Harpswell Methodist Episcopal Church.
Entering through the main doors and looking from the back of the sanctuary to the front pulpit and choir loft , the windows are as follows:
Front left - Richard J. and Caroline E. Nunan
The left window was given in 1908 by “Richard J. and Caroline E. Nunan.” Capt. Richard Nunan (1840-1917), Master Mariner, followed the sea all of his life. He came to Cape Porpoise with his parents, younger brothers, and sisters, at the age of 21. He established the Nunan Fleet of Fishing Schooners (14 boats) with the help of 2 brothers, 2 sons, and a nephew. He owned considerable real estate in town.
He married Caroline Hutchins on Dec. 2, 1864, and they had 7 children. Their window contains an anchor pictured here on the right. From the minutes of the Ladies Aid Society of October 14, 1908: “Capt. Richard Nunan agreed to place a memorial window in the church if the Ladies Aid was willing to place another.”
Front right - Ladies' Circle
The October 25, 1908, Ladies Aid Society minutes read: “The members of the circle voted to do so, the cost of said window to be $125.00.” The window across from Capt. Nunan’s contains a crown and cross and was given by the Ladies’ Circle as a gift to complete the artistic beauty of the church.
Center right - The Nunan Family
This window was given by the Nunan family in 1909 “In Memory of Emily S. Nunan (1812-1885)”. Quoting from the Nunan Family History by Florence E. Nunan: “Emily was a very intelligent woman and before leaving Ireland had studied to be a Doctor. She did not complete that education as she married and raised a large family. However, she did become a nurse and even with her large family was on call for nursing the sick in the village.
Her death was the result of pneumonia, contracted when she went to the Huff home on what is now known as the Langsford Road to deliver their baby. It was the night of a violent winter storm with huge drifts. Emily Nunan was a deeply religious woman, and devoted to church work.” She was the wife of Charles Nunan, a sea-faring man and the mother of Richard J. Nunan above. This window has a painted center section depicting Jesus being questioned in the Temple as a child.
Center left - Ladies' Circle
Across the sanctuary is a matching window depicting Jesus teaching children in a garden. It was given in 1909 by the Ladies’ Circle “In Loving Memory of Departed Members.”
Rear left - Christena Langsford
This window is labeled “In Memory of Christena Langsford.” Christena (1831-1891) was from Nova Scotia and the wife of Henry Lewis Langsford, who was a fisherman in Lanesville, MA. The Langsfords came to Cape Porpoise in the summers and in 1862 Christena began the Langsford House. She took in boarders to supplement their meager fishing income and they returned to Massachusetts for the winters. In 1884 Christena purchased the Huff property on what was then known as Huff’s Point. About a month later Christena sold the same lot of land and buildings to her husband.
The Huffs had owned the property for nearly 200 years and begun a public house or inn there in the late 1600s. Emily Nunan went to descendants of this family to deliver the baby. And the Langsfords had a son, George who married Helena Eliza Hutchins, granddaughter of Emily Nunan.
Christena Langsford developed a reputation for the excellent meals she produced and the Langsford House began to grow. About 1883 they built a small hotel and it was soon discovered by the “summer folk.” These people came to Cape Porpoise for the summer and often arrived via train with all of the necessary trunks and bags to stay for the season. When the business began in 1862 it accommodated 5 guests and by the 1960’s it included 85 rooms and the main dining room seated 160 people. At its peak, the hotel employed 36 persons. About the turn of the century, George and Helena Langsford became the managers of the hotel and George served as Sunday School Superintendent in 1917.
A note in the 1939 Yankee Cookbook reads, “My grandmother, Mrs. Henry Lewis Langford of the Langsford House, Cape Porpoise, ME used to make delicious squash biscuits by this rule 50 or 60 years ago. She was noted for her fine cooking.” This was written by Grace L. Rowell, daughter of Eva, who was George Langsford’s sister. Our church records show that the summer guests of the Langsford House raised money with projects such as silver teas and entertainment programs to help support the Church on the Cape, as it is now known.
Rear right - Clara A. Sylvester
This window was given “By Mrs. G. P. Baxter in loving memory of her mother, Mrs. Sylvester.” Mrs. Sylvester was Clara A. (Bailey) Silvester (later Sylvester), 1844-1923, of Hanover, Plymouth Co., MA who married John E. Silvester. The Silvesters had a son, John Paul and a daughter, Amy Bailey, who married Gregory Paul Baxter of Somerville MA. Mr. Baxter became a professor of chemistry at Harvard and the family spent summers on Langsford Road in Cape Porpoise. The Baxters had a daughter, Elizabeth Paul, who reportedly adored her grandmother, Clara A. Bailey Sylvester.
In 1976 the Trustees voted to clean and repair the stained glass windows and the project was completed.
Bartlett Hall - Angel of Hope
In December of 2008, an impressive new stained glass window was dedicated in the Carl G. Bartlett Fellowship Hall following the 10 a.m. worship service.
Titled the Angel of Hope window, it is an adaptation of an original Tiffany window installed in the First Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Tiffany style, developed by Louis Tiffany in the late 1800s, used sophisticated glass-firing techniques to create a unique stained glass picture. The new Angel of Hope window is vibrantly beautiful as light passes through the artwork.
Designed by glass artist Susan H. Pratt Smith of Northwood, New Hampshire, the window displays the figure of a woman looking up to Heaven with the Latin word for hope, ‘SPES’, displayed along its side.
The window was given to the church by Annie and Bill Hidell and is dedicated to our pastors emeriti, Sherwood Treadwell and Bill Gardei, and Ruth Merriam.