While visiting Bellows Falls, we learned about the nearby Rockingham Meeting House just off the road to the Vermont Country Store and we decided to make a brief stop. It was well worth it! Set on a small hill, this simple but impressive wooden structure once served as both a church and a meeting house. With its commanding pulpit, “pigpen” arrangement of pews, and many-paned windows, this well-preserved white building is a striking monument to an earlier era.
A local resident was in attendance to answer questions. Be sure to look at carvings in the booths, which indicate the families who sat there and also include some interesting details. Try standing too at the podium, where one can imagine various types of impassioned exhortations addressed to the assembled.
Judging by a few sample inscriptions on display in the building, the adjoining cemetery also has some fascinating gravestones. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to explore further but we noticed a curious entranceway at the ground level below the meetinghouse. This, we later assumed, must have been the “hearse shed and burial vault” mentioned in the visitors’ brochure.
Whether you stop for a few moments or visit for longer, it’s easy to understand why the community preserved this “historical and architectural treasure,” which is also a national historic landmark.
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