First Congregational Church of Montague - Montague, MA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Marine Biologist
Assisted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Biologist Marine
N 42° 32.115 W 072° 31.949
18T E 702637 N 4712158
Quick Description: The First Congregational Church of Montague is located in the village of Montague Center in the town of Montague, Massachusetts. It is a contributing building in the Montague Center Historic District.
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Date Posted: 12/31/2014 6:25:57 PM
Waymark Code: WMN5V0
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Weathervane
Views: 4
Created From:
 First Congregational Church of Montague - Montague, MA - posted by Biologist Marine

Long Description:
The most outstanding collection of period institutional buildings is located at Montague Center. These include the First Congregational Church (1834, Henry and Zebina Taylor, builders) and the Town Hall (1858), which stand opposite each other at the center, as well as The Grange (1835; originally Unitarian church?), Masonic Hall (1855), and Main Street School (1855). Of these the finest is probably the Congregational Church, a two-story brick gabled Greek Revival structure with a recessed portico with pediment and three stage belfry with octagonal sections and a dome. The church's brick construction, recessed portico and domed belfry set it apart from the smaller, frame Greek Revival meetinghouse with steeples that characterize much of Franklin County.

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"Montague Center is a picturesque village with 234 properties that date from the 18th and 19th century in the National Register Historic District, including a range of architectural styles and community buildings such as the Congregational Church, Town Hall, Grange, Masonic Hall, and Main Street School. The Montague Mill is a very popular tourist destination that contains two restaurants, a bookstore, and shops located in a historic mill."

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"Montague Center is the site of the town’s original settlement in the early eighteenth century (1715-30). Early development of the village was encouraged by the availability of abundant waterpower and productive agricultural land. Agricultural prosperity together with intensive industrialization of the Connecticut River and its major tributaries, including the Sawmill River, led to a rapid increase in population, particularly as the eastern regions of New England became overpopulated and pioneers gradually pushed farther west. By 1830, Montague Center had grown and matured into an established rural village serving a productive agricultural region.

As the location of early industrial sites on the Sawmill River and the nexus of transportation routes, Montague Center became a hub of commercial activity in central Franklin County in the mid 1700’s. Surrounded by productive farmland, the village was ideally sited for settlements. As the Connecticut River became more industrialized in nearby Turners Falls, Greenfield and Hadley in the mid-nineteenth century, small manufacturers appeared in Montague Center along with factory housing, which increased the size and density of the small rural community. As a result, it acquired a diversity of type and scale in its architecture that was unusual for a village its size. As the industrial economy of western Massachusetts declined in the twentieth century, Montague Center gradually returned to its earlier pastoral inclinations. Today, the factories no longer exist and the mills have been put to other uses. As it did one hundred years ago, Montague Center’s distinctive plan, a crossroads village organized around a village green, vividly conveys the image of a mid-nineteenth century rural New England town.

Visit the historic Village Center where the original Town Hall (1858), the Congregational Church (1834) and the Montague Grange Building face the Town Common along with numerous other outstanding examples of Greek Revival architecture located on the Main Street. The Montague Center Historic District was recently listed on the National Historic Register of Places, and boasts some of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture, commonly regarded as America's first uniquely American architectural style."

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Reformed or Congregational Denomination: United Church of Christ

Associated Website: [Web Link]

Status: Active House of Worship

4 North Street
Montague, MA USA

Date of Construction or Event Occurrence: 1/1/1834

Architect: Not listed

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