D-3-16

Early Meetinghouses

Towns granted by the Masonian Proprietors were required to build a meetinghouse for religious and public purposes. Therefore, called a “duty” meetinghouse, Monadnock #6 built a 25 x 30’ frame building that was 8 ½ feet high at the eaves. This was authorized at a proprietors meeting held at Breed Batchellor’s house in February of 1772. Anne Breed, daughter of Nathaniel and Ann Breed was the first person baptized in Monadnock Number Six meetinghouse in July 1773.   The Reverend Joseph Farrar of Dublin presided and preached the first sermon in Packersfield.

In 1782 the building was too small and a 45 x 60’ replacement was voted. It was erected beside the earlier one and was finished enough so the original could be sold and moved off site to be used for other purposes.  It was over 28’ high at the eaves. It must have been an imposing structure high on the hill and surrounded by as many as sixty horse houses.

This meetinghouse served the community for both civic and religious purposes until 1841 when the Orthodox Congregational Church and Society in Nelson bought 1 ¼ acres of land across the road from the Melville and Nims store in the new village center and built the current church. The building was disassembled in 1846. Much of the frame became the current Town Hall and the porches were moved to the village and used to construct the home of Charles H. Whitney (D-4-20).