Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Old Round Church

I was intrigued by the beautiful old church picture I used in my "A Little Sunday Scripture" post this past Sunday. So I researched that unique building known as The Old Round Church in Richmond, Vermont.

The Old Round Church is not actually round. The church has 16 sides and was built between 1812 and 1816.

The building was constructed as a "meeting house" for five denominations: "Baptist, Christians, Congregationalists, Methodists, and Universalists." The church was the first community church in America. The church building was also used for town meetings. By 1880, the individual denominations had each established church buildings of their own and the "round" building was used strictly for town meetings. William Rhodes was the local blacksmith/carpenter who oversaw the construction of the church. There was a round church building in the town where his parents lived. (Some think that is where he got the idea - some claim that building a church without corners kept the devil from finding a hiding spot).

The church fell into disrepair and in 1973 had to close it's doors due to safety concerns. Several restoration efforts have helped preserve the church since 1973. After many preservation efforts, the building can be used for weddings.

I searched high and low, but could not find any photos of the ceiling rafters.

Wooden box pews were common in the early 1800's. (The individual boxes were easier to keep warm than an entire room).

Another legend surrounds the round church- Apparently, Henry Ford wanted to take the building back to Dearborn, Michigan to add to his historic building collection.

I love the snow pictures!

No frills.
Just simple white clapboards.
cedar shake roof.
paned clear glass windows.
minimal landscaping.
So BASIC, but so very perfectly beautiful!

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janet said...

Fabulous building! So austere and pious inside...nothing to be distracted by I guess ;-)

Terry said...

I noticed from your last post. I so happy you followed up to show us more.

Tricia Anne said...

What a charming building. I am so glad they are able to preserve it and is in use for weddings. :o)

LeeAnn@Encouragement Is Contagious said...

What a beautiful church! I would love to visit here to see this building in person. I went to high school in a round school building in the 1970 s. It was built in the 60s.

I like your new blog header! You have such beautiful artwork.

Lee Ann

Porch Days said...

Thanks for this post. My husband loves round barns and round houses but we never saw a round church!

Molly @ A Bit O' Shine said...

Wow how interesting! That is quite the building.
I've never seen box pews before I guess my state is too young. :)
Although there is a round barn in Oregon that is pretty interesting.

Lemonade Makin' Mama said...

Hi, I just found your blog! What a beautiful building! I love history and thinking about what has gone on before in an old building.


nannykim said...

I guessed that was from VT and I have heard the same stories about it not leaving a place for the devil to hide. We had a round barn up by us in Warren Vt area.

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