by Elizabeth Peirce, April 14, 2018
In the old days church attendance was compulsory. People living in the north part of Prescott had a hard time with the long distance to Prescott Hill for services. To solve the problem a decision was made to build a new church closer to home. Wasting no time, the North Prescott Methodist Church became a reality in 1837. It was built on a jog in the town line between Prescott and New Salem. The parsonage beside the church was in New Salem. In May of 1903 the church was severely damaged by a lighting blast causing necessary changes and repairs. Rev. Betcher was the minister. The singer’s gallery was removed, the interior of the church remodeled, stained glass windows cost $11.50 each replaced the broken plain glass ones. The two front doors became one center door. The upstairs became the Sunday School room. The steeple was extended and a bell added. The bell was never used and much later given to the South Athol Methodist Church where it still calls people to worship.
In 1947 parishioners heard that the MDC had plans to demolish the building because it was 20’ inside the proposed watershed.
The Prescott Historical Society organized on August 23, 1932, was looking for a home. An offer was made to purchase the building. The MDC was willing to accept payment of $5.00 and $35.00 to transfer the deed but with the stipulation that it be gone by December 1948! The building was taken down, loaded on a flatbed truck and moved to South Main Street in Orange where it was rebuilt and became the Prescott Historical Society. (The parsonage is now a private home just outside the fence.)
In 1985 a decision was made to merge with the Swift River Valley Historical Society and once more moved the Prescott Church. It was placed on a foundation which allowed for a kitchen, bathroom and office space.
Many pictures were taken on a beautiful fall day as the church took one last journey!
And now, after 181 years this House of Memories is asking for your help to make the steeple safe and attractive again. For 181 years people have cared enough to take care of it. Can’t we?