First Parish Church, Brunswick

5.0
#11 of 14 in Things to do in Brunswick
The First Parish Church is a historic church at 207 Maine Street in Brunswick, Maine. Built in 1845 to a design by Richard Upjohn, it is a unique example of Gothic Revival architecture done in wood, as the church was built with vertical board-and-batten paneling. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969. The congregation dates to 1717, and is affiliated with the United Church of Christ; the pastor is Rev. Mary Baard.Description and historyThe First Parish Church occupies a prominent location on a rise between downtown Brunswick and the Bowdoin College campus, which lies directly to its south. It is a single-story wood frame structure, whose Gothic Revival features include a buttressed tower, lancet-arched openings for doors and windows, and vertical board-and-batten siding. It originally had a spire, which was blown off in a storm in 1866 and not replaced.The church congregation was founded in 1717, for which this is the fourth church. It was built, on the site of the third church, in 1846 by the labor of the congregation, to a design by the noted American architect Richard Upjohn. Funding was provided in part by Bowdoin College, and it has been used by the college for commencement exercises and other activities. The attached vestry was built in 1883.On May 2, 1851, American author Harriet Beecher Stowe had a vision while sitting in pew 23 here wherein she saw an enslaved man wounded from a beating he endured from his enslaver. The incident inspired her book Uncle Tom's Cabin. After years in disrepair, the church underwent extensive restoration, which was completed in 2004; the restoration earned the church a Maine Preservation Honor Award in 2006.
To visit First Parish Church and other attractions in Brunswick, use our Brunswick driving holiday planner.
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First Parish Church Reviews
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5.0
TripAdvisor
  • LOVE this church, whether it's to sit in a pew formerly occupied by Harriet Beecher Stowe or to attend an organ concert or a Summer Bowdoin College Music Festival Event. Just a TRUE historical landmar...  more »
  • This church of 1845 looks ordinary from the outside, but step inside to admire one of the rare examples of wooden Gothic Revival style! Interesting
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  • The Christmas Eve service is very good. Welcoming to everyone.
  • A welcoming parish. Traditional congregationalist service with songs from hymnal, and often an eloquent thoughtul sermon. Talented choir and world class organist.

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