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Visiting the Spired Community Church, Stowe, Vermont: The Resonance of Quintessential New England Neoclacissism

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State flag of Vermont

State flag of Vermont

Typical, spired New England church building

This place truly struck a chord.


Perhaps because its spire and Neoclassical lines, including portico and pediment, typify a traditional church profile in New England.

Perhaps because, when I went inside, its interior design seemed to typify the space for the common sense, town hall type of meetings out of which New England self-government emerged, centuries back.

Perhaps because its interior notice board, announcing a series of studies on 'better': a keyword in the Epistle to the Hebrews, apparently on the surface reflective of simple, Biblical exegesis rather than of media-political eisegesis on behalf of vested interests.

Here in the shadow of Mount Mansfield, Vermont's highest peak, in a picturesque village in a state which leans neither west toward New York nor east toward New Hampshire (both of which had designs on the territory of Vermont in Colonial times): like Mount Mansfield the spire of Stowe Community Church seems to aspire upward instead! Unlike neighbouring New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, Vermont was never a Colony, its collective roots being instead in the Republic of Vermont, which existed from 1777 until 1791.

The building in which Stowe Community Church meets dates from 1863 (1); the former Universalist congregation had its origins in a local Congregational parish, dating from 1820, in the village, chartered in 1763. Its steeple, at 175 feet / 53.3 metres is the tallest in Vermont. Since 1920, the building has been used on a Non-Denominational basis.

Here at Main Street, Stowe, Vermont, I received an impression of the sort of place where America emerged, centuries back.

April 2, 2019


(1) See also:

Stowe Community Church in Stowe, Vermont.

Stowe Community Church in Stowe, Vermont.

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Also worth seeing

Picturesque Stowe attracts many visitors especially during the skiing season, given its proximity to the slopes of Mount Mansfield, at 4395 feet / 1340 metres, Vermont's highest peak; other significant buildings include the Town Hall which includes a local history museum.

In Montpelier, (distance: 22.7 miles / 36.5 kilometres) notable visitor attractions include: the golden domed State House, dating from 1859; the former studio of artist Thomas W. Wood. Christ Episcopal and Saint Augustine's Churches are significant examples of ecclesiastical architecture.

The Vermont Marble Museum, Proctor (distance: approx. 75.8 miles / 121.9 kilometres)

The Frost Place, Franconia, New Hampshire (distance: 73.9 miles / 118.9 kilometres) is a museum and poetry centre based in the former home of poet Robert Frost (1874-1963).


How to get there:

Burlington International Airport (distance to Stowe: 33.5 miles / 53.9 kilometres), where car rental is available from various companies, is served by a variety of airlines, including Porter, JetBlue, Delta and United, which fly to a number of North American connections. Stowe lies on Route 100, north of Junction 10 of the I-89. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. Visitors to the United States are advised to refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

Other of my hubpages may be of interest


MJFenn (author) on April 04, 2019:

Liz Westwood: Yes, views of Stowe from various angles, which show the spire of its Community Church, do indeed seem to exemplify typical New England scenes. I was indeed struck by the likely approach to preaching that you mention, although I did not hear any; my comments were merely based on the keyword studies on display. Thank-you for your comments

Liz Westwood from UK on April 03, 2019:

That does look like a typical chocolate box traditional photo. This is the kind of building I would expect to see in this part of the world. I was interested to read your comment about the preaching series.

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