History

The First Universalist Church of Dexter began in 1828 as the First Universalist Society of Dexter, Maine. The town itself had settled less than 30 years before and most of the influential men of Dexter were members of the Society.

The first meeting house in town was erected by this society in 1829 on the site of the present building, which replaced the old meeting house in 1869. Boston architect Thomas Silloway’s design incorporated the framing of the earlier building into the construction of the new edifice. The bell tower, which reaches a height of 108 feet, contains the bell from the old meeting house. The two story addition, which houses the kitchen, offices and Shaw Parlor was built in 1912.

The sanctuary is graced by many stained glass windows, some dating back to the 1869 rebuilding. The Estey pipe organ was installed in 1876 and was located in a balcony at the rear of the sanctuary. It was moved to the front left in 1898. In 1916 it was reconditioned, electrified (to relieve the need for hand pumping), and was moved to its present position, in the front center.

During the period from 1985 to the present, the building has been undergoing restoration work. The First Universalist Church of Dexter is proud to be listed in the National Historic Register.

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