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South Starksboro Friends Meeting House

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1826; 1871 addition. Upper Meehan Rd., 0.5 miles north of VT 17
  • (Photograph by Curtis B. Johnson, C. B. Johnson Photography)
  • (Photograph by Curtis B. Johnson, C. B. Johnson Photography)

This plain wood-frame, one-story, gabled building is the oldest remaining Friends meetinghouse in Vermont and has been in continuous use since its construction. By virtue of its simple form it is also representative of the majority of first-generation churches built in Vermont.

The meetinghouse faces west to the road on a 1.5-acre lot shared with a burial ground to the south. The Creek Meeting of the Society of Friends acquired the lot in 1826 at a cost of eighteen dollars and thirty cents, with permission from the Starksboro Monthly Meeting. The original 34 × 26–foot meetinghouse, consisting of one large room with two front doors, cost three hundred and sixty dollars to construct. In 1871 a seven-foot-deep extension was added to the gable front of the building, creating a sheltered central entrance foyer and cloakroom, and the present pews were installed. In 1983 the meetinghouse was moved thirty feet to the north of its original footprint onto a new concrete foundation.

Although this building has parallels with many meetinghouses and churches built between 1780 and 1840, it is most typical of the state's earliest churches. As recorded in most town histories, the first church buildings erected by congregations in their communities were small gabled one-room buildings like this meetinghouse. Danby, Ferrisburgh, Monkton, Starksboro, and Lincoln all had meetinghouses like this one and similar versions can be seen on the greens in Stockbridge (the Town house) and Wells (now the library). Across the state, however, very few remain in proportion to their once-great number.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson
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Citation

Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson, "South Starksboro Friends Meeting House", [Starksboro, Vermont], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/VT-01-AD13.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Vermont

Buildings of Vermont, Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 114-114.

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