Celebrating 250 Years of the First Congregational Church of Shelburne
Hill Cemetery and Parson Hubbard House Historic District has been placed on the
National Register of Historic Places in 2013 by the United States Department of the Interior
William C. Pomeroy Foundation 2020
History of our Church Buildings
The church has built four meeting-houses. The first, probably erected in 1769, was located on the hill just south of the Hill Cemetery. Two years later, on November 6, 1771, the town voted "to repair the log meeting-house, to plaster up the cracks with mortar, and to make a door, to obtain three windows, and to make a pulpit". The second meeting house, a frame structure built in 1773 but not completed until 1785, was located a few rods north of the first one. In 1786, the town voted “to provide a conch shell to notify the people of the time of worship.” The acquisition of a bell in 1805 indicates that the belfry and steeple were already built by this time. The town clock with its enormous face was on the steeple. A copper vane representing an angel with wings extended and blowing a trumpet was at the peak. This figure was some seven feet in extent. The interior of this building contained square, or box, pews, “negro departments” in the corners of the galleries and an overhanging sounding board over the high pulpit. Until 1818, footstoves were the only means of heat. In those days of two long sermons, the women went at lunchtime to a neighboring house to get hot coals for the stoves, while the men warmed up at a nearby tavern.
After nearly sixty years of constant use for both religious and other public meetings, the building was torn down in 1832. After much controversy as to location, the third house of worship was built on the site of the present church. While the people were gathered for worship on March 9, 1845, this building burned to the ground. Construction of the present church began immediately and the finished structure was dedicated in December of the same year.