St. John's has been a vital part of the village of Copake Falls and the surrounding region for more than 150 years and has shared their ups and downs. Some members of the early church were farmers, but many were involved in mining and smelting the iron ore deposit whose remains lie just west of the church. Thus, our early history parallels that of the Copake Iron Works, which was established in 1846 by Lemuel Pomeroy of Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
Happily for St. John's, both Pomeroy and his business associate, Isaac C. Chesbrough, were Episcopalians. At first, in 1849 and 1850, Episcopal services were held only occasionally and took place in the tiny local schoolhouse. The present church, designed by Richard Upjohn in the Gothic Revival style, was consecrated on June 29, 1852. The building is of much historical interest, for Upjohn designed many other churches, the most famous of which is New York's Trinity (Wall Street.) He also founded the American Institute of Architects in 1857.