East Village Meetinghouse (Old Brick Church)

From the National Park Service:

“The early 19th-century East Village Meeting House, now known as the Old Brick Church, is an excellent example of a Greek Revival style masonry meeting house. The meeting house, serving both religious and secular functions, had no precedent in England, and was an early American building type. In 18th-century New England, meeting houses were characterized by their rectangular form, gable roof, and steeple symbolizing its importance to the community. The local brick used in this meeting house’s construction distinguishes it from others in the area, most of which were wooden. The East Village Meeting House remains the visual, religious, and social focus of the village of East Montpelier.

When the Meeting House was built in 1834, the two front doors provided entrances on either side of the pulpit. In 1908, the base of the pulpit was sawn off and the top portion moved and attached to the opposite wall. At this time the original pews, which initially faced the doors and pulpit, were reversed. The choir loft, above the original pulpit location, was also closed in. The original windows were comprised of 50 small panes of clear glass, unfortunately only one of these remains. In 1908 stained glass memorial windows were installed, and only three of these remain. In 1954, three memorial windows were salvaged from a neighboring church that was demolished and installed at East Village. The excellent craftsmanship of the masonry work is evidenced in the unusual brick designs of the gable end. While building the Meeting House, some of these brick masons were also working on the Vermont State House that was built in the 1830s.

The meeting house first served Methodists and Universalists. In 1858, the Methodists withdrew, while the Universalists continued to worship here. In 1864, Reverend Olympia Brown, the first female minister ordained by the Universalist Church, preached here. By 1980, the East Village church was once again a united church serving not only Universalists but Methodists, Baptists, and Congregationalists as well.”-https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/centralvermont/cv34.htm

From Wikipedia:

“The East Village Meetinghouse, also known as the Old Brick Church, is a historic church at 55 Vermont Route 14 in East Montpelier, Vermont. Built in 1833-34, it is a fine local example of Greek Revival architecture, and has been the focal point of the historic East Village for most of its history. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.[1]

The Old Brick Church stands in the village center of East Montpelier, on a parcel bounded on the south by US Route 2, the east by Vermont Route 14, and the west by Quaker Road. Its walls are brick laid in American bond, and its foundation is cut granite. It is 1-1/2 stories in height, with a gabled roof from which a square tower rises. The tower’s first stage has corner pilasters rising to an entablature and cornice, while the second houses the belfry, with louvered rectangular openings, corner pilasters, and surrounding entablature above. An eight-sided steeple completes the tower. The front facade is oriented to the southwest, and is symmetrical. It is four bays wide, with sash windows in most bays, and two entrances in the center two bays of the ground floor. In the gable above is a recessed panel that has a triangular louver at the center. The interior has original slip pews facing the pulpit on the rear wall. The pulpit is original, but was at first located on the front wall, from which it was moved during renovations in the early 20th century.[2]

The village of East Montpelier was settled in 1825, and this church was built in 1833-34 on land donated by Arthur Daggett. The building team was led by Truman and Stillman Kelton, and included men who later worked on the Vermont State House. It was built as a union meeting house, serving both Congregationalist Unitarians and Methodists. About 1858, the Methodists withdrew from use of the building. Between 1940 and 1951 it was reduced to having only summer services, but has since held services year-round.[2]”-https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Village_Meetinghouse

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