Historic churches

Most of the older church buildings in New England are Congregational churches–the descendants of the Puritan meetinghouses. Others are Unitarian, especially along the coast, and a few, especially further inland, are Methodist or Baptist. This list contains mostly 18th- and 19th-century churches, with a preference for those whose historic architecture remains mostly intact. Unless otherwise noted, all of these buildings are of white clapboard construction.

Congregational Christian Church, Lubec, ME Built 1820.

Centre Street Congregational Church, Machias, ME Built 1837, with a lot of Gothic details.

Cherryfield Congregational Church, Cherryfield, ME Built 1882 in a white-clapboard amalgam of Gothic and Stick Style.

Trinitarian Congregational Church, Castine, ME Built 1829, with Italianate refurbishment in the 1860s.

Unitarian Church, Castine, ME Built 1790 as the First Congregational meetinghouse, it went Unitarian in the early 19th century, along with a lot of other congregations in coastal New England.

Holden Congregational Church, Holden, ME  Built 1828 More or less Greek Revival, with a cupola on its tower instead of a pointed spire.

East Bucksport United Methodist Church, Bucksport, ME

Elm Street Congregational Church, Bucksport, ME Built 1838, mostly in Greek Revival style.

First Congregational Church, Camden, ME Built 1834, remodeled in 1870 in Italianate style, with an asymmetrically-placed steeple.

Popham Chapel, Phippsburg, ME  Built 1896, this is an interdenominational chapel in a vernacular gothic style, used for non-denominational, Episcopal, and occasionally Congregational and Baptist servies.

Elijah Kellogg Church, Harpswell, ME Built 1843; A lovely Congregational church in a style that represents a transition between Federal and Gothic Revival, right across the road from the much older Colonial Meetinghouse.

North Sebago United Methodist Church, North Sebago, ME Built 1903, in a somewhat Gothic-inflected style.

First Parish Church, Kennebunk, ME Built in 1774 and substantially enlarged in 1803, this church combines Georgian and Federal-style elements. Originally Congregational, it has officially been Unitarian since the 1820s.

South Congregational Church, Kennebunkport, ME Built 1824, mostly in the Federal style but with Gothic-style pointed windows.

Congregational Church, Amherst, NH Built 1774; a nice Georgian church with a spire atop an octagonal cupola.

Jaffrey Meetinghouse, Jaffrey, NH Built 1775; well-preserved on the exterior, but not used as a church nowadays.

First Church, Jaffrey, NH Built 1832 by Jaffrey Congregationalists who objected to having to share the town Meetinghouse with other religious groups; a brick building in Federal style.

Little White Church, Eaton, NH Built 1879 by the Freewill Baptists. Now run as a space for weddings and cultural events by a nonprofit and nondenominational organization, the Little White Church is a charming building in a charming village by the side of a charming little lake in the foothills of the White Mountains.

Stowe Community Church, Stowe, VT  Built 1864 by the Universalists, in 1920 it became one of the first interdenominational churches in the United States when the Universalists got together with the Congregationalists and Methodists (and a few Baptists) to have their services together with a single minister.

Second Church, Dorchester, MA A grand, rickety old clapboard church in the Federal style. The bell up in the belltower was cast by Paul Revere. Built 1805-1806 by Congregationalists; now affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene.

Second Church, Amherst, MA Built 1839 as a Congregational church; now home to the Jewish Community of Amherst.

First Congregational Church, Williamstown, MA Built 1869; heavily remodeled in 1914 to make it look more Colonial.

Old Congregational Church, North Scituate, RI  Built c. 1830; no longer used as a place of worship, but well-preserved thanks to funds from the local arts festival.

Kingston Congregational Church, Kingston, RI  Built 1821. A nice Federal-style church with a pointed spire and a tower clock.

Milton Congregational Church, Litchfield, CT Built 1791 in the early Federal style, but remodeled in the 1820s and 1830s with Greek Revival details.


About Peter Chipman

I'm a lexicographer, an editor, and a lover of language and literature. Also a proud father of two, an occasional bell-ringer, a thirteenth-generation New England Yankee, a former owner of a one-room schoolhouse, and the current owner of a 220-year-old farmhouse.
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2 Responses to Historic churches

  1. Gregg says:

    Might I suggest the First Parish Unitarian Universalist church in Kennebunk, Maine, as a worthy addition to this list? It’s got a Revere bell in the bell tower. Also, a correction: South Congregational is in Kennebunkport, not Kennebunk. I’m sure of this, as we attend.

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