Explore the timeline below for a snapshot of the Old West Church’s early history and throughout the years.

August 18, 1823

August 23, 1823

Caleb Curtis, Medad Wright, and Nathan Bancroft called for a meeting to have a meetinghouse built in Calais. The First Meetinghouse Society was formed. Bylaws were quickly adopted, officers elected and a building committee formed.

August 30, 1823

August 30, 1823

Building committee members: Caleb Curtis, Isaac Davis, Alpheus Bliss, Medad Wright, and Joe Robinson agreed upon a building lot and plan that called for a building 40 by 42 feet with 40 five by six foot pews on the first floor and 18 in the balcony. Caleb Curtis, Joshua Bliss, and Joel Robinson were chosen to supervise the building, and Capt. Remember Kent, Capt. Isaac Davis and Joseph Brown to examine the work.

October 13, 1823

October 13, 1823

Lovell Kelton, timber framer, raised the meetinghouse on a rainy and wet day. He charged $23.13.

November 1825

November 1, 1825

The building was completed under the supervision of Mr. Griffin of Hardwick for a total cost of $2,005. A dedication ceremony was held at the end of the month by Mr. Bartlett of Hartland.

1828

October 15, 1828

The meetinghouse was first used on Sundays by Baptists, Sabbaths, Universalists, Congregationalists, Christians, Free Will Baptists, and Methodists. For the next 35 year’s the building was used for services, funerals, weddings, lectures, concerts, meetings, and dramas.

Mid-1800s

October 15, 1829

Horse sheds were built behind the church to shelter horses during the services.

1831

October 15, 1831

Wood stoves were installed. Prior to that parishioners brought winter foot stoves bearing hot coals or heated freestones to keep warm.

December 25, 1836

December 25, 1836

The first Christmas Eve service took place with candles. The tradition still takes place today.

1897

October 15, 1897

After being closed for services for many years, extensive repairs took place and services continued in the Old West Church.

April 8, 1921

April 8, 1921

The Old West Church Association, Inc. was incorporated with the Vermont Secretary of State for the purpose of preserving the building.

Summer 1953

July 1, 1953

Lightning strikes the steeple.

Summer 1972

July 1, 1972

A bell from the Maple Corner School under the direction of George Morse was installed in the belfry with the help of David Fitch, Robert Dole, David Morse, and Greg Belcher.

Summer 2018

June 23, 2021

The Old West Church steeple was removed and completely restored.