By Teresa Robinson (President South Hero Bicentennial Museum)
In 2013 when Paige Brownell was in fourth grade at Folsom School, her social studies class took a field trip down to the Old White Meeting House. Paige felt inspired to research more about the old church when she and her classmates noticed some historical details there. This is what Paige wrote:
“The Old White Meeting House was one of the first public buildings in town and was used as the first church, and as a place for people in town to meet for different reasons.
For many years it housed grades 5-8 until Folsom was built in 1949. We walked there and saw where people had written their names under the staircase. We think kids who went to school there in the past wrote them. It might have been that the kids got sent to the corner for being bad. We also saw a container of dried up glue in the closet. Maybe it was left over school supplies. We also saw evidence upstairs in Granny’s Attic that there used to be desks nailed to the floor and we saw a hole in the wall where the flag used to hang.
Bret Corbin met us when we got there. He told us a story about years ago when it was a church and a man used to sing beautifully. The man’s heart was broken when he was told they were going to have new services in the new church on South Street. He loved this church so much that he did not want it to be changed. I learned that this church has a lot of memories that people still cherish today.”
Today our town is embarking on restoring the existing foundation of the Meeting House and stabilizing the east wall by taking out the garage bays and putting back three windows like it used to look. Although it was built by skilled volunteer barn builders in 1816, the years have taken their toll and the building needs our renewed support. The town of South Hero applied for and was awarded a $100,000 grant from the Paul Bruhn Grant for buildings on the historic register. Matching funds are needed so anyone interested in supporting the South Hero Meeting House Foundation & Stabilization Project can donate by sending a check to the South Hero Foundation, Inc., PO Box 441, South Hero, VT 05486. The South Hero Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization.
Thank you for voting “YES” on Article 7 at the 2022 Town Meeting.
If you have questions email or call Sandy Gregg 802-372-4565.