Gay Manse // 1743

Ebenezer Gay (1718-1796), the third minister of the First Congregational Church of Suffield, was born in 1718 in Dedham, Mass. His father was a substantial farmer, and his uncle was the famous minister, Ebenezer Gay of Hingham. Young Ebenezer graduated from Harvard in 1737, and held his first preaching job three years later. Reverend Gay became a candidate for a pastor in the Suffield Congregation, becoming ordained in 1742. That same year he married his wife, Hannah, and they had this massive home built adjacent to the town’s church. Rev. Gay and his wife had no children, but had adopted a black girl “Sybil” who was baptized as the “child of Ebenezer and Hannah”. There were other black members in the Gay household in later years including Titus Gay. “Old Ti” was born in 1787, and lived nearly his entire early life in Suffield, CT. He was born to a family of slaves also owned by Reverend Ebenezer Gay, making him born into slavery. His mother, Rose Gay, was a princess in Africa, and his father was owned by Major Elihu Kent. Reverend Gay was the pastor of the church until his death in 1796. The home was later occupied by other pastors at the church, and was eventually acquired by Suffield Academy for use as housing. The gambrel roof Georgian mansion features a stunning Connecticut Valley doorway with swan’s neck pediment.

One thought on “Gay Manse // 1743

  1. Gardenlover11 September 23, 2020 / 7:16 pm

    How marvelous!!! The classic colonial I so miss living in WA state…!


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