Montgomery, Vermont is home to another covered bridge and at least two old churches. Kelton Hall, a Greek Revival building served as the Baptist church since around the time of the Civil War. It survives now as a center for the local arts.
The other, St. Bartholomew Episcopal Church is a Gothic Revival building built by 1835 and on the National Register of Historic Places. However, the church was already in decline before the turn of the century and by 1927, regular services were no longer held. The building was condemned in 1974 and purchased by the Montgomery Historical Society and now called Lawrence Pratt Memorial Hall.
Although this building is now the Berkshire Historical Society, from what I can tell it belonged to the Calvary Episcopal Church in East Berkshire, Vermont. They organized about 1820 and built this church in 1823. At some later point it became a Congregational church.
The rural area of Barnet, Vermont is centered around this United Presbyterian Church. The Greek Revival church was built in 1849 on the high point of a hill by the Scotch immigrants to the area. The old cemetery adjacent has been in use since the land was deeded to the Presbyterians in 1791. The church is also part of a National Register of Historic Places listing.
Woodford Union is along the road through the Green Mountains and is the church at the highest elevation in the state of Vermont for those keeping track. The church was built in 1873 and was non-denominational through the end of regular services in the 1940s. It was used occasionally over the following two decades but hasn’t been used as a church since that period, except for some weddings.
When you visit Old West Church, there’s no doubt it’s a historic church when you walk through it. Built in 1825, it’s located in a rural area of northern Vermont. It’s a typical New England style building, listed in the National Register of Historic Places as “Colonial Survival”. As you enter the church, there is an organ in the vestibule and then you enter into the main seating area past two stoves that were added in 1831. There’s also an upstairs gallery. The building is essentially original, and there is no electricity even today. The church was owned by The Baptists, Universalists, Congregationalists, Christians, Free Will Baptists and Mthodists and was used for community meetings as well as church services. There is also a small cemetery behind the church.
Interior, Old West Church
Interior, Old West Church. The Message above the altar reads “Remove Not the Ancient Landmark Which Thy Fathers Have Set”.
Randolph, Vermont has a pair of old churches facing each other on its main road. First Congregational Church (above) was established in 1786, only a few years after the town was founded. Across the street was a church building privately owned and now calling itself “The 1st Lovegregational Church”. I’m not sure of the age of either of the buildings.
I stopped at Marshfield, Vermont to visit one of Vermont’s many covered bridges. But there were a pair of nearby churches, so I grabbed a couple of photos of those too. Marshfield was chartered in 1790, a year before Vermont became a state. The two churches fronting Highway 2 both appear to be in use.
Marshfield United was originally built by the Methodists in 1860 but burned down in 1878. A replacment church (above) was built in 1879.
In 1871, Congregationalists also built a church and later (1899) it was moved by oxen over a two week period to the church’s present location. That building burned in 1905 and the congregation rebuilt the church as shown below. By the 1930s it was used for the local Women’s Club and Men’s Club and in 1957 it was sold to the Church of God of Prophesy.
Waterville, Vermont was on the quiet side when I passed through recently. It was chartered as Colt’s Gore in 1788 and later changed the name to Waterville in 1824. The small mill town reached a peak population of about 750 in 1850 and the village’s historic district is on the National Register of Historic Places. Waterville had a mix of Methodists, Congregationalists, Baptists and Universalists and the Methodists and Congregationalists jointly built the “New White Church” in 1839 (above). A Universalist Meeting House was built some time around 1856 and as the population later declined, the Universalists joined the Union Church and donated their building (below) to the town for use as a Town Hall.
First Congregational Church was organized in 1762 in Bennington, Vermont. The building above is the second church, used for the first time in 1806. Most of the funds for this historic church were raised from sale of the pews to the members of the time. The late Georgian style structure is also included in the National Register of Historic Places. The cemetery next to the church has a state designation and is the final home to many early settlers of Bennington, as well as the poet Robert Frost.
Old Christ Church is near Bethel, Vermont in Windsor County, which was the first town chartered by the republic of Vermont in 1779. The style of church is considered high Federal and it’s largely unaltered since being built in 1824. The church was originally Episcopal and is again today, but it was sold in 1852 to a Methodist congregation who used it for about 20 years. The small cemetery behind the church is two years older and many founding members of the town of Bethel are buried there. The church is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The church was locked when I visited, so interior photos were limited to what I could get from the outside.
Interior through the keyhole of a locked door.
The cemetery behind the church is from 1822 and has approximately 80 graves.