Our 2017 service: another beautiful day in the North Country!

photo provided by Rachel Hunter

It's that time of year again!

The Annual Welsh Society of Richville is set to holds the annual service on Sunday August 26th 2018 at 2pm.  (Note updated time) at the historic church, corner of Main street and St. Hwy 11.  Guest speaker will be announced at a later time.  All are welcome.  Refreshments will be served afterwards courtesy of Richville Historical Association.

Welsh Society Meeting 2013

This year's Welsh Society service was on August 25th, 2013 at 2p.m, as usual.  We had a great showing this year.  Reverend Dr. Richard Mayforth was the guest speaker, Sandy Wyman opened the meeting by providing some historical data.  Ford Reynolds,  descendant of the Welsh settlers in Richville, led the group in a hymn. The quaint little church on the hill was beautifully decorated with flowers provided by the Blooming Idiot on the Rock Island Road in Gouverneur.  Refreshments followed at the Richville Historical Association. Thank you to everyone. We hope you enjoyed our yearly get together!  God bless.

2012 Welsh Society Service

The yearly meeting and church service at the Welsh Society on August 26, 2012, was well attended by both those with Welsh heritage and those just appreciative of the preservation of this area's history.  Repeat visitor, Elenore Jones, was kind enough to donate a pair of dolls to the Richville Museum wearing traditional Welsh outfits:  black with white buttons.  She wasn't sure how she knew they were Welsh, but actually informed the antique dealer she bought them from.  And during the Queen of England's 60th celebration, she noticed performers wearing similar costumes.

Every August: Annual Welsh Church Service

 Article from the Gouvernuer Tribune Press September 2, 2011: 

Richville’s Welsh Society created to preserve historic building from being paved over.
By Rachel Riley

A small gathering of Welsh-rooted patrons congregated at the Welsh Society in Richville on Sunday August 28th for the annual service honoring Welsh ancestors and Welsh-American heritage.

Pastor Ford Reynolds presided, and Tribune Press reporter Sandy Wyman was guest speaker for the afternoon. Here is what she spoke of:

“I am most humbled in light of your consideration of honoring me as guest speaker once again. What feelings arise when we meet to worship on this special Sunday.

Fellowship far beyond the familiar greetings of handshakes, pleasant words of welcome and comforting hugs…how does one put into words the sense of family ties to long ago? Something special resides in this little white church and in our hearts…the light of faith. That faith was set forth from our ancestral land to take root in a new country and with Welsh faithfulness passed down through the generations, we will always endure. Just take a look around, how happy we are and ever so grateful.

So much happens from one gathering to the next. Some no longer with us, others newly born…life cycles on…however our Welsh heritage remains steadfast so rejoice today. A program’s signoff from a childhood memory…. “Happy trails to you until we meet again”.

Some historical information was also available:

Richville was really a Welsh settlement. The first Welshman to come here from the old country was James Griffis who arrived here in 1850 with his wife and seven children. He was soon followed by others. They organized a religion body in the spring of 1858 and for some years were affiliated with the First Congregational Church. The Welsh church was eventually built in 1859 and it grew and prospered until 1919 when regular services were discontinued.

In 1925, seeing the church falling into disrepair, Webster Griffith, grandson of the original builder of the church, Eben Griffith, undertook renovations of the structure. It was then that the stone tablet in the front was erected.

Not much happened with the little church until the early 70’s when the State proposed to build 11 bypassing downtown Richville. In Route 11’s path stood the Welsh Church, which the State’s records listed as abandoned.

The Welsh Society of Richville was incorporated on October 10, 1974 in order to get the money and to halt the State’s plans. The church building was thus spared and the bequest released to the Society.

A service is held once a year when a few Welsh and other interested persons get together to remember and sing.