First Congregational Church
As was the case in many rugged rural communities, establishing our church tested the patience, passion and perseverance of those citizens who felt called to do so. Early on, visiting preachers would come and hold meetings in local barns and open fields. Our current church building was built in 1875, however it was actually the fourth edifice to house the early Congregationalists of Farmington. Initially gathering in 1819, with a membership of eight persons, they used several “meeting houses” before building their first dedicated church on donated land across the street from where we are today in 1844. In 1870 a larger, two-story church was built on our present site. Pictures of this building still exist, however it was totally destroyed in a fire just five years after dedication. Quoting a passage from the pen of a parishioner who was present at the time of the fire: “No event in the history of this church so aroused our people as did the great fire of 1875, when, upon a wild and wintry night, February 10th, with the temperature at ten above zero, this fine new church costing about $25,000 with a $1700 organ and a fine town-clock and bell, was in one hour’s time laid in ashes…When morning broke, a sad scene of desolation lay before the church people, but with the greatest energy and resolution, they at once assumed the task of erecting another building and, in one year and twenty-seven days after the fire, dedicated the present structure.” (S.S.P.)
In August 2017 our church received the distinction of being listed on the New Hampshire Register of Historic Places by the state's Division of Historic Resources. The 1875 church building is recognized as an outstanding example of Gothic Revival architecture, grisaille stained glass windows and for its significance in the culture and history of the town of Farmington. This is the oldest church in the town in continuous use for 132 years.
In January 2018 the First Congregational Church in Farmington has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. According to Peter Michaud, National Register Tax Incentives and Covenants Coordinator for New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources, the church is the first building in Farmington to be honored with this distinction. The only other site in Farmington on the register is the town pound, a stone wall enclosure where animals could be kept.
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