Meetinghouse History Gallery
Our 1862 meetinghouse is the most grand collection object in our museum. This current building stands on the foundations of three prior meetinghouses, going back to the first in the mid-1600s. Over three centuries, each meetinghouse has stood on this spot as a landmark for the secular and religious center of life in this town.
Several items are on display, including the Certification of National Register of Historic Places, an 1865 photograph, shown below, of the memorial for the recently-slain president Abraham Lincoln, an illustration of the second Meetinghouse built in 1699, the 1769 plan for pew seating for the third Meetinghouse, a stool reportedly constructed of wood from the first Meetinghouse, a foot warmer c. 1700, and a Seaman’s Devotional Assistant and Mariner’s Hymns, published in 1839, belonging to J. Clare Hammond of Wells. Also on view are portraits of Reverend John Wheelwright (1592-1679) and Esther Wheelwright (1696-1780), and a plaque to commemorate George Burroughs, the second minister of the Meetinghouse, hanged in 1692 at Gallows Hill in Salem.
Read more about the history of the Meetinghouse here.