What church is this in 1950?

Yesterday, the finance blog Get Rich Slowly offered a video from 1950 of Christmas celebrations around the world as a kind of video greeting card. The United States segment was a (typical) post-war homage to the white clapboard meetinghouse in snowy New England.

I bet dime to a doughnut that the church is either Unitarian or Congregationalist, perhaps even both. I’ve put screenshots below in hopes that one of my readers can identify it. Bonus points if you know who the minister is.

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Church interior

About Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 45, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.

7 thoughts on “What church is this in 1950?

  1. This DOES look an awful lot like the First Religious Society in Carlisle, but of course the First Religious Society in Carlisle looks an awful lot like an awful lot of other white clapboard Congregational churches in New England: that’s part of Carlisle’s faux-rural over the river and through the woods from Walden Pond charm. Of course, it’s also hard to say how much the Meetinghouse itself may have changed in half a century. I’m still pretty certain though that this is some other church.

  2. Boy, you’ve got me on this one. I pored through two photo books on New England churches and meetinghouses. Nada. Then I went to the Web and did three MSN searches, one for New England meetinghouses, one for Congregational churches in New England, and one for Unitarian churches in New England. There were a couple hundred photos, and nothing matched. I’m baffled.

    There are three things that make the building in this photo distinctive: that the bell tower reaches all the way to the ground (which would probably make it predate most of Asher Benjamin’s buildings and those of his ilk), the absence of a clock in the tower, and that it has only one door, in the base of the tower.

    There is a possibility that this building is now gone. I’m wondering if that’s why we can’t find it.

  3. Mystery solved: It’s the meetinghouse of the Norfield Congregational Church in Weston, Connecticut. The church doesn’t have a website; I found an old photo of it by accident after days of searching on the Web during my leisure time. I get obsessive over things like this — I love solving puzzles.

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