Scenic USA - Vermont

Old Round Church

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The Old Round Church - Richmond, Vermont

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

     Once doubling as a town meeting hall and a place of worship for five protestant denominations, the Old Round Church is the only surviving 16-sided wooden meetinghouse in America. Completed in 1813, the church just recently celebrated its bicentennial.
     Here in Vermont's Green Mountain foothills, along the riverbanks of the Winooski, the town of Richmond has a long history dating back to 1770. The Richmond Historical Society was formed in 1973 primarily to save the Old Round Church. Last used as a meeting hall in 1973, the church has since seen several major restorations. Round Church Plaque A sprinkler system, roof replacement and repainting were among the major repairs for the 200 year old structure.
     Declared a National Historic Landmark in 1996, the Old Round Church is open for tours during the summer and early fall. Wedding plans? The church is also available for concerts, ecumenical services and community events.
     Designed without any prominent corners, a plan to eliminate any hiding place for the devil, the polygon shaped floor plan was laid out by William Rhodes, a blacksmith and carpenter. Today you may still see traces of Rhodes' handiwork in the door hinges, locks and floor planks, where some floor boards are more than two feet wide. Its rigid box pews and handsome pulpit attest to more expert Vermont craftsmanship. Located nearby a busy Interstate I-89 corridor and U.S. Route 2, getting to the Old Round Church is fairly easy.

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