Mohegan Church Restoration
The Mohegan Church, founded in 1831, in many ways helped the Tribe maintain its presence in the area and avoid relocation to the west with other tribes. The land beneath the Church is one of two locations continually owned by the Tribe since before European contact. For years, it was a place Mohegans could gather as a Tribe, as much for solidarity as spirituality.
Until recently, lack of funds prevented needed repairs and the Church started to deteriorate. With new resources, the Tribe was able to restore the building and its role in Tribal life and pride. Design work commenced in 1997, followed by work on the sanctuary and the building of an annex. The final phase, a museum exhibit, was completed in May 2002. The exhibit contains artifacts directly relating to the church, such as the regalia of Lemuel Fielding, Chief Occum from 1903 to 1928; a large wooden mortar and pestle; a traditional wedding gift consisting of a quilt and carved utensils; and a mask used to ward off evil spirits at the annual Wigwam Festival.