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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