West Gouldsboro Union Church, completed in 1892, was originally dedicated for the use of all Christian denominations It has a unique architecture for churches built in Maine in the late 1800s and includes a pyramidal roof and a variety of interesting decorative details. It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places and fundraising efforts are being made now to help in its restoration.
Machias, Maine has several older churches within a couple of blocks of the town center. Holy Name Catholic Church was built in 1845, but had to be rebuilt in 1875 after a fire.
Centre Street Congregational Church is a large Gothic Revival church that was built in 1837 with the congregation having originally founded the church in 1782. It was designed based on plans by the architect who designed Trinity Church in New York City as well as a few other New England churches that are still around today. Major alterations include an eight day clock in the church tower added in 1870, and installation of stained glass windows depicting Biblical themes in 1899. It’s included on the National Register of Historic Places.
Machias Valley Baptist is younger than the others shown above. It was originally a Univeralist Church and dates to at least the start of the 20th century, but was purchased for a Baptist congregation in 1962. Below is a photo of the church from a postcard sent in 1906.
Hampden Congregational Church was founded in 1817 and built this church in 1835. It’s a blend of Federal, Greek Revival, and Italianate architecture. The tower was added later (circa 1863) and there were a few interior modifications in the 20th-century. The Hampden, Maine church was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.
Finnish Congregational Church in Thomaston, Maine is a late Victorian style church built in 1921. There was a increased level of Finnish immigration into Maine between 1900 and 1920 resulting in the desire to establish a church for the growing population. Because of its cultural significance, the church was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.
Spurwink Church and Cemetery are located in a quiet area of Cape Elizabeth, Maine. The oldest building still in the town was built originally in 1802 and then rebuilt around 1834. Its architecture is a blend of Federal, Gothic and Greek Revival. The church was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.
Winter Street Congregational Church is a large, Gothic Revival church in Bath, Maine. It was built in 1843 and was active until the 1960s when the parish merged with another church and built a new building. This church was nearly demolished in 1971, but fortunately was preserved. Today it serves as a community center and is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
If you’re able to visit the remote California state park of Bodie, one of the first buildings you’ll see in this ghost town is the Methodist Church. The structure was completed in 1882 and was one of two churches in the town. Supposedly there were approximately 65 saloons among them too. Bodie had effectively emptied of people by the early 1930s. It was abandoned for a couple of decades before the state took it over and created a park in 1962. There was some vandalism of the church during those deserted years, but generally it’s well protected today.