First Parish Church (Brunswick, Maine)

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First Parish Church
First Parish Church, Brunswick ME.JPG
First Parish Church (Brunswick, Maine) is located in Maine
First Parish Church (Brunswick, Maine)
First Parish Church (Brunswick, Maine) is located in the US
First Parish Church (Brunswick, Maine)
Location207 Maine St., Brunswick, Maine
Coordinates43°54′38″N 69°57′47″W / 43.91056°N 69.96306°W / 43.91056; -69.96306Coordinates: 43°54′38″N 69°57′47″W / 43.91056°N 69.96306°W / 43.91056; -69.96306
Arealess than one acre
ArchitectRichard Upjohn
Architectural styleGothic Revival
Part ofFederal Street Historic District (#76000092)
NRHP reference #69000008[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPDecember 02, 1969
Designated CPOctober 29, 1976

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.[2] It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969.[1] The congregation dates to 1717, and is affiliated with the United Church of Christ; the pastor is Rev. Mary Baard.

Description and history[edit]

The 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.[3]

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.[3]

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.[4] The incident inspired her book Uncle Tom's Cabin.[5] 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.[2]

See also[edit]

External video
Brunswick church 08.07.2012 20-47-20.jpg
C-SPAN Cities Tour - Augusta: Harriet Beecher Stowe & Uncle Tom's Cabin, 14:06, C-SPAN[6]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. The Park Service Focus database incorrectly links this site's reference number to documents for the First Parish Church (Portland, Maine). This site's documents are linked from that church's reference number, 73000113.
  3. ^ a b "NRHP nomination for First Parish Church". National Park Service. Retrieved 2015-11-15.
  4. ^ Pullen, John J. Joshua Chamberlain: A Hero's Life and Legacy. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1999: 111. ISBN 0-8117-0886-1
  5. ^ Buchanan, Paul D. American Women's Rights Movement: A Chronology of Events and Opportunities, 1800–2008. Boston: Branden Books, 2009: 51. ISBN 0-8283-2160-4
  6. ^ "Harriet Beecher Stowe and Uncle Tom's Cabin". C-SPAN. September 10, 2012. Retrieved May 22, 2017.

External links[edit]