HENRY A. SYKES (1810-1660)

        Although Henry Sykes, born in Suffied in 1810, was never given more than a “common” education, he managed to acquire an extensive knowledge of many subjects beyond his profession as an architect and builder. He had a keen interest in researching Suffield history, and was an honorary member of several historical and antiquarian societies.

        Orphaned at the age of five, Henry Sykes was raised by his grandfather, Victory Sykes. When old enough he was apprenticed to study architecture and building with Chauncey Shepherd of Springfield, Mass. and later with Ithiel Towne of New Haven. By the time he was thirty, he had designed and built both the First Congregational Church (later moved from its place on the green for use by the railroad company) and the Second Baptist Church (still in use) in Suffield.

        His reputation as an architect went beyond the town, however, and he was responsible for the design of many stores and private residences in Springfield, buildings at Amherst College (which awarded hini an A.M. degree in 1854) and residences and churches in Greenfield, Mass.

        Known for his Christian virtues, Henry Sykes was made a deacon of the First Congregational Church in 1857, an office he held until his death at the age of fifty in 1860.