A Tale of the Round Church
A Historical Vermont Landmark
Unique in America, Richmon’d s Round Churhc is a well-preserved 16-sided meeting house built in 1812. Originally built to not only serve at the town meeting place, but to house five different Protestant congregations, Vermont’s Round Church is maintained today by the local historical society. Available for weddings and events, the Round Church is also open to the public during the summer and fall each year.
If a church has no corners then the Devil cannot hide there. That is one of the theories of why the historic Round Church in Richmond, Vermont is round. Another is that 17 men came together and built the 16 sided polygon. One built each side and the 17th put on the belfrey. However, records for this project showed more than the 17 men on the payroll.
The unique structure, now known as the historic Round Church in Richmond, was constructed in 1812 – 1814. The need for a meeting house, and a multi-denominational house of worship (Baptist, Universalist, Christian, Congregationalist, and Methodist) promoted this project. Money for this meeting place was raised by selling pews. The pew sales raised a grand total of $2,305.42.
This building was used for annual Richmond Town Meetings, a Vermont tradition, for 160 consecutive years. In 1973 the state felt it was unsafe for the public and it stood closed for 8 years. Reopened by the Richmond Historical Society in 1981 the restoration cost $180,000.
At the present time you can make arrangements for a wedding (the waiting list is over a year long), special events, and public gatherings. There is no charge to visit The Round Church. Hours are, weekends from Memorial Day to Columbus Day. Open daily from July 4th to Labor Day.
But do remember that the first Tuesday of March is when the Richmond, Vermont towns folk have it all to themselves for Town Meeting Day.
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