Where in the Valley - Thetford Hill Congregational Church

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Here is the answer for Where in the Valley...? for August 3 to August 10, 2001

Thetford Hill Congregational Church
Photograph: Bob Raiselis

Roger Daum, Jim W, Lucia Button, Katherine F. Pond, and Steve Glazer correctly identified this as the Thetford Hill Congregational Church. Ms. Pond's comment included the information that "[this steeple has] the clock that I always checked to see if I was going to make it to work on time!!"

From the very fine Connecticut River database of architecture,

First Congregational Church, (n. side Rt. 113), 1785-1788, (moved & altered 1830).

Facing the common, the First Congregational Church is the visual focal point of the Thetford Hill Historic District....

...Attempts were made to organize the Congregational Church as early as 1771, making the congregation among the five earliest in the state. As was typical of the day, the meetinghouse was intended to serve both public and religious functions. Following the customary dispute over the location of the meetinghouse in town, the structure was erected at what is now the south end of the common, marking the beginning of the village of Thetford Hill. Begun in 1785 it was probably completed in 1788. In 1812 the Congregational Church ceased to be supported by taxes. The conflict between church and state resulted in the sale of the meetinghouse and its subsequent move in 1830 from the town-owned common to its present site. The cost of the move and resulting repairs was the gift of William Child, who bid $128 for the meetinghouse and then had it moved and repaired at a total cost of $1500. The pavilion and tower date from this period and are indicative of a blend of Federal and Greek Revival influences. The church is reportedly the oldest meetinghouse in the state still in continuous service.

Who knew? It looks like it grew there.

Thetford Hill Congregational Church