This distinctive church was the gift of a prominent native son. J. H. Guild arrived as a youth, married a local girl, and then embarked on a varied career—store clerk, teacher, cabinetmaker, industrialist, and physician—in Ohio and New York as well as Vermont. His return to Rupert coincided with a diphtheria epidemic, which he treated with such success that the community convinced him to stay. He did and became so prosperous that twenty-three years later he paid almost the entire construction costs of this Methodist church. It is an L-shaped frame structure with an entrance tower in its reentrant angle. With large pointed arches for the door, stained glass windows in the gable fronts of the ell, and stepped corner buttresses, the church is essentially Gothic. However, the two-and-a-half-story tower rises through a cubic stage with circular windows to a striking stickwork open belfry beneath a boldly splayed pyramidal spire with clock faces and decorative finial. This tower is a rarity for a state that has little Stick Style construction. The tower transformed a fairly conventional church into a landmark, impressing its contemporaries as “the most costly and beautiful building in town.”
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Rupert Methodist Church
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