Pittsfield Historical Society’s

History of Pittsfield

Unitarian Universalist Meeting House of Pittsfield

6 Easy Street, Pittsfield, ME 04967
(207) 487-5861 · Reverend Margaret Beckman · MABME@aol.com
Centennial Celebration 1867-1967 booklet

Originally erected in 1857 as the Union Meeting House, which served as a place of worship for people of all denominations until 1871, when the Universalists bought out the interests of the others and remodeled it for their own use.

The first regular organization of this congregation was in 1867, and the parish was incorporated in 1892.

During 1895 and ’96 there was considerable discussion among the Universalists about rebuilding their church, or at least renovating the old building. By 1898 plans for the rebuilding of the church had finally been accepted and the money raised for the renovation. Contractor Wellman moved the old church to the new location, making it into the vestry of the new building, and by October the exterior of the edifice was nearly complete. Plans for dedication were being made for 1899. Harry Hayman Cochrane of Monmouth, who later became world famous for his church murals, was doing the murals for the new sanctuary.

It is still one of the most beautiful churches to be found anywhere in the state. Its sanctuary is unique in its architectural design and beauty, from its inclined floor which gives an amphitheater effect to its domed ceiling with its muraled figures representing attributes of God, all softly lighted from three large Tiffany stained glass windows of triptych design. To further enhance the impressive beauty of this sanctuary, are twelve life-sized Cochrane mural masterpieces of Old and New Testament personalities.

The First Universalist Church is distinguished by its building, which is one of Pittsfield’s four listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The neighboring parsonage was the original Lancey House and was torn down in 1956 when the lot was sold to Sunoco.

Designed to accommodate a variety of communal activities, the church features a strikingly beautiful sanctuary adorned with Tiffany windows, hand-painted murals and a 95 year-old organ.

In addition to its tremendous visual appeal, the sanctuary has an outstanding acoustical design. Attached to the sanctuary is an auditorium with a stage and two small support rooms.

The Ladies Aid Parlor offers comfortable accommodations for small gatherings, while Kierstead Hall and a commercial- sized kitchen downstairs provide meal and activity space.

The building is fully wheelchair accessible with the use of an entrance ramp outside and a stair lift inside. In recent years the downstairs area has been rented to Sebasticook Farms for adult day care activities.

Centennial Booklet
In 2012, PHS member Tom Brown reproduced the Centennial Celebration 1867-1967 booklet [pdf 1.8 Mb] which contains a detailed history of the Universalist Church during that period. The same document formatted for printing a facsimile of the original is available here. Tom has also created an index for the booklet listing all of the important points of interest in it.

On Sunday, October 1, 2017 at the Annual Meeting of the First Universalist Church of Pittsfield, members voted unanimously in support of a Formal Resolution to Change Name, changing the name of our congregation to “Unitarian Universalist Meeting House”. More about this change at http://pittsfielduu.org/blog.

Universalist Church as seen from the bridge, 1930s post card.

Click on pictures to enlarge.

Universalist Church in 1875.

Universalist Church circa 1906.

Universalist Church in 1934.

Universalist Church date unknown.

Universalist Church in March, 1972.

The Universalist Church in February, 2005.

Universalist Church sanctuary, 2005.

Original Version: 10-Jan-07.

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