Old North Church

The Old North Church

The Old North Church, no elec­tric­ity or run­ning water but full of the spirit of place. Photo by Mary Prior.

The pris­tine build­ing on McDow­ell Road in North Danville, known now as the Old North Church, has had more than one name. It was built in 1832 through the coop­er­a­tion of four church denom­i­na­tions and became known as the Union Meet­ing House. In 1868 the build­ing became the North Meet­ing House; it wasn’t until 1890 that it became finally became the Old North Church. The build­ing is con­structed in the post and beam style with a stone foun­da­tion, orig­i­nally cost­ing $1400 to con­struct. There are twin entrances beneath an impres­sive Pal­la­dian window.

In 1868 the Methodist Church became the sole owner of the church and ren­o­va­tion was begun to mod­ern­ize the build­ing. The wide-board floors were car­peted and box pews removed, replaced with rows of pews. The exposed beams were cov­ered by a dropped plas­ter ceil­ing. It was lit by a large cen­ter chan­de­lier, hold­ing 14 lamps, donated by a Hard­wick church. Lamps along the side­walls were used as well, and heat was sup­plied by a wood stove.

It is not known when the reg­u­lar weekly ser­vices ceased, but in July, 1928, North Danville Old Home Day was insti­tuted in con­junc­tion with the annual meet­ing of the Tampico School Asso­ci­a­tion. In 1957, under the lead­er­ship of Arthur San­born, weekly lamp­light church ser­vices were sched­uled dur­ing the sum­mer months. These ser­vices piqued people’s inter­est in the beau­ti­ful old build­ing, and in 1960 the Old North Church was once again ren­o­vated. The plas­ter ceil­ing was removed, expos­ing the hewn and pegged king truss and purlin con­struc­tion. Car­pet was removed, expos­ing the wide pine board floor­ing, and the walls were papered.

The Old North Church was deeded to the Danville Ver­mont His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety by the Trustees of the Troy Annual Con­fer­ence of the Methodist Church on August 17, 1964, to be used for reli­gious or his­toric pur­poses. The Old North Church Com­mit­tee, a stand­ing com­mit­tee of the Danville His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety, has ded­i­cated itself since that date to the care of the build­ing, engag­ing in preser­va­tion, restora­tion and main­te­nance of the facil­ity. They have con­tin­ued the sum­mer lamp­light ser­vices as well as opened the build­ing for events related to its mis­sion. In 1982, recog­ni­tion was given to the Old North Church as a his­toric site in the State of Vermont.

In the spring of 2005, the most recent ren­o­va­tion began; a grant was awarded to restore win­dows and re-plaster the inte­rior walls. An ongo­ing Adopt a Win­dow pro­gram is accept­ing dona­tions to help in the com­ple­tion of the project.

A map to the Old North Church:

From Route 2, follow this map.

From Route 2, fol­low this map.

 

 

 

2 Responses to Old North Church

  1. Bill Callender says:

    My mother-in-law (Mar­jorie Noyes McKen­zie) was born in Whee­lock, VT, and went to Sun­day school in the Old North Church. My wife, Max, and our fam­ily would like to attend a Sun­day church ser­vice in this build­ing. When are ser­vices sched­uled for the 2012 summer/fall sea­son? And for the 2013 sea­son? We vis­ited this beau­ti­fully kept build­ing and site this past week and said to each other , “Wouldn’t it be won­der­ful to return and sit in this spe­cial place that Mom knew so well”.
    Thank you. Bill Callender

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