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First Congregational Church

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1823–c. 1827, Amos Tiffany; 1851 front and spire, Henry Spearbeck, builder; 1844–1845 assembly hall, Richard Hotchkiss, builder. Main St. (PA 547) at Creek Rd.
  • First Congregational Church (© George E. Thomas)
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)

A vivid illustration of the New England roots of the county's early residents is this clapboarded frame church that rests atop a knoll overlooking the village. Settlers from Attleboro, Massachusetts, formed the congregation in 1800 and built its first church six years later. The present church was begun in 1823 under the direction of New England–born Amos Tiffany. Its 1827 dedication preceded completion of the interior. The bell, cast in Medway, Massachusetts, was raised into the belfry in 1838. Tiffany followed the New England church formula of a projecting three-bay entrance pavilion with a spire rising above the pavilion's pediment. The 1826 contract shows a familiarity with the work of Asher Benjamin, mandating that the pulpit and pulpit window (at the west end) “correspond with the plate 33rd in Asher Benjamin's 3rd Edition, Builders’ Assistant.” Neither element, alas, survives.

In 1851, Henry Spearbeck transformed the church from Federal style to Greek Revival. He added a windowless flush-board front with colossal Doric pilasters, wrapped a plain Ionic frieze around the front and sides, framed the entrance with an entablature and pilasters, and exchanged the original open belfry for the present. The plain two-stage tower and octagonal spire are similar to those at the Congregational church in Lincoln, Massachusetts (1842), and the Presbyterian church in Bethany ( WA14). Spearbeck also may have been responsible for altering the interior and replacing the pulpit with a lower one. In 1881, a desk on a platform replaced the pulpit. The small one-story frame assembly hall along the church's south side has a well-proportioned Greek Revival tetrastyle portico and a flush-board front and pediment. A cemetery with graves dating to the early nineteenth century is behind the church.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "First Congregational Church", [Kingsley, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 538-539.

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