Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Stetson Meetinghouse a.k.a. Stetson Union Church: Built in 1843

Stetson Union Church, also known as the Stetson Meetinghouse, is a historic church building on Maine State Route 222 in Stetson, Maine. Built in 1843 to a design by Bangor architect Benjamin S. Deane, it is an excellent and well-preserved example of ecclesiastical Greek Revival architecture. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981. It is owned by the town.

Description and history

The Stetson Union Church is located at the northeast corner of Village Road (Maine State Route 222) and Wolfboro Road, east of the village center. The single story rectangular wood frame structure is set facing roughly west, toward the junction. The square tower that rises from the western end of the gable roof has two stages, ending in a conical fluted spire. The upper stage has arched windows flanked by Doric pilasters. The main facade has a recessed entrance pavilion, with Doric columns at the front and Ionic pilasters at the rear. The sides of the building have four stained-glass windows, and a chimney rises at the rear.

The town of Stetson began as a proprietorship established in 1801 by Amasa Stetson on land he purchased from Leicester Academy of Leicester, Massachusetts. In 1831 he bequeathed the funds to build a church, which resulted in the 1843 construction of this building, to a design by the noted Bangor architect Benjamin S. Deane. The building is now owned by the town.

On November 10, 1978 construction of The House at Pinewoods Hollow ceased as funds had run dry, and I left my friend David as caretaker with a stumpage contract negotiated by me with a neighbor to keep both my friend and neighbor warm for the upcoming Winter with enough firewood. However this plan failed when an altercation between David and the neighbor was instigated by one of the neighbor's sons and my friend left his post. I took his place in late December and lived alone in the woods until March 21, 1979 when I required income and there were no open jobs at the woolen mill 10 miles away. Work on the 18' x 24' segment of this initial structure in The Commonwealth of Lanternshire resumed in the Summer with barn-board siding put on my wood frame camp and windows salvaged from the old Stetson schoolhouse (converted to apartments) installed. The House at Pinewoods Hollow was also known as "The Schoolhouse" as its timbers were originally part  of the old school structure in Bradley, Maine. By 1984, with no time or extra money to continue this project the house fell into disrepair, eventually to be dismantled and burned in a wood stove for heat by another neighbor, so when the land was sold as a woodlot in 2003, it was just as I found it back in 1974: A woodlot! ~ JDHWB-R

"But Lot's wife looked back as she was following behind him, and she turned into a pillar of salt." - Genesis 19:26

Image Source: http://maineanencyclopedia.com/stetson/
Text Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stetson_Union_Church
Video Source:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmU4Xyl00hY

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