Have you ever wondered about the little white church you see as you drive along Bristol Road, through East Monkton? Did you know that it is listed on the Vermont State Register of Historic Places? It is a wonderfully quaint building which has been a part of the lives of Monkton residents for more than 140 years.
Excerpts from Smith’s “History of Addison County Vermont” (1886), tell us that “the first church organized in town was the Calvinistic Baptist, formed July 24, 1794. The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1797 by Joseph Mitchell. There being no convenient center in the town, the society has three different places of worship: at the church in East Monkton, the town house at Monkton Ridge, and the church in Barnumtown, one service being held at each place on alternate Sabbaths, served by one pastor, Rev. Delano Perry.”
The land for the East Monkton Church was purchased from the Beers family and construction began in August of 1866, with a completion cost of $2,000. The building was able to accommodate two hundred and fifty people. The entry was later enlarged by bringing the wall further into the back and removing several seats, and a dining area was added in the chair loft. The building was dedicated in February 1867, at which time a double wedding took place.
The last appointed pastor was in 1937 and the building now has no denominational affiliation or financial support. The congregations of the Monkton Friends Methodist Church and the Bristol Federated Church have held summer services at the church in recent years. The building is available for worship services by any denomination, for weddings, and funerals, as well as cultural and social events.
The stewards of the East Monkton Church Association oversee the restoration and use of the building. A conditions assessment has been conducted, with the support of the Preservation Trust of Vermont, and a restoration schedule has been created. If you are interested in the use of the building or would like to participate in the restoration process, please contact Candace Polzella at 453-7575.
The next time you drive along Bristol Road, take a moment to enjoy the picturesque beauty of the East Monkton Church.
**Note: This photo is courtesy of Helen Burritt Layn and was photographed by Margaret French Sunderland, circa 1976.