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Photographer's Note

I love to visit New England in the autumn in search of wonderful scenes of colorful foliage. My favorite subject matter are the old village churches, covered bridges and interesting farms. The Orwell, Vermont, First Congregational Church, built in 1842 by Frederick Bostwick of Orwell and a Mr. Fobes of Crown point New York at a cost of $6,418.96, is one of the finest examples of the Greek Revival style in Vermont. The monumental style of its construction was a result of the great prosperity enjoyed by Orwell due to the financial rewards of sheep farming at the time the church was constructed. The church has served the community throughout its history. It contains a notable Hook tracker organ purchased by subscription to honor returning Civil War veterans. In 1880, Orwell was connected by rail to Albany and Boston, and exact time keeping was becoming a community concern. In 1882 a clock, that is still in operation, was added to the church belfry and thus the modern desire for accurate time keeping was reflected in the most prominent religious building in the community. The church continues to the present day as an active Congregational church.
The 1830s and 1840s were a time of considerable religious ferment. Wilbur Miller who was from Poultney, Vermont, had achieved national fame. Millerism was at the height of its popularity just as the movement to build a new church in Orwell got under way. The Congregationalists proposed to pay for the new church but felt that they should have control over who would preach there. This led to a schism. There began a building race and the ousted Methodists were the first to erect a new church on the village green. This led to the establishment of two rival churches on the town green where previously one church had served the entire community.

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Additional Photos by Tim Kathka (tkfun45) Silver Note Writer [C: 7 W: 0 N: 16] (113)
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