Washington Street Baptist Church - 36 Washington

Washington Street Baptist Church. Illustration from Kilby's Eastport and Passamaquoddy, 1888.
Washington Street Baptist Church. Illustration from Kilby's Eastport and Passamaquoddy, 1888.
Washington Street Baptist Church, c. 1900.
Washington Street Baptist Church, c. 1900.
One story Washington Street Baptist Church (inside yellow circle) as appears in 1879 Bird's Eye View Map of Eastport. Building was soon afterwards raised and made into two story building.
One story Washington Street Baptist Church (inside yellow circle) as appears in 1879 Bird's Eye View Map of Eastport. Building was soon afterwards raised and made into two story building.
Washington Street Baptist Church, 2012. Building is now home to the Eastport Arts Center.
Washington Street Baptist Church, 2012. Building is now home to the Eastport Arts Center.
Washington Street Baptist Church interior, 2002.
Washington Street Baptist Church interior, 2002.
Washington Street Baptist Church Detail, 2012. Photograph by Thaddeus Holownia. PHOTO#: Washington-36_Eastport(August)021 copy(72).jpg
Washington Street Baptist Church Detail, 2012. Photograph by Thaddeus Holownia. PHOTO#: Washington-36_Eastport(August)021 copy(72).jpg
Built:1837
Address:
36 Washington Street
Eastport, Maine

EWT, 2010:
Washington Street Baptist Church Washington Street.

This church started as a religious society in August of 1802 with Aaron Hayden as the first deacon. The society moved around both before and after the War of 1812. In 1837 the Washington Street Baptist Church was built at its present location. The church was built as a two-story building with a square bell tower facing Washington Street

From Kilby\'s Eastport and Passamaquoddy (1888):

WASHINGTON STREET BAPTIST CHURCH. As has been related in preceding chapters, a meeting-house was built on Moose Island as early as 1794; but several years elapsed before any permanent religious organi- zation was effected. Services were conducted in the meet-ing-house from time to time by itinerants, who were mostly Baptists; and in July, 1801, Elder Edward Manning baptized over thirty persons. At length, on the eighth day of August, 1802,* the church now known as the Washington Street Baptist Church was instituted by Rev. James Murphy, who became pastor, assisted by Rev. Elijah Brooks, of New Brunswick. Aaron Hayden was the first deacon. The church at the beginning consisted of fifty-seven persons, widely scattered about the vicinity and neighboring islands, some as far away as Pennamaquan, who soon after withdrew and formed a church at home; and several years later others established a church at Lubec. At first, the up island meeting-house was occupied. After the South School-house was built, services were held there; and later the society worshipped in a room above a store on Water Street. The breaking out of the War of 181 2 interrupted plans for building a meeting-house ; but services were continued with considerable regularity during the British occupation, and, after the departure of their forces, the work was taken up again. The meeting-house on High Street was dedicated Nov. 12, 1820, the pastor, Rev. Henry J. Ripley, preaching the sermon. This house was plainly built, without tower or steeple; and the interior was arranged in a peculiar manner, the pulpit standing between the en- trance doors, with the congre- gation seated in the pews facing that way. In 1837, when under the pastoral care of Rev. John B, Hague, the new house of worship was built on Washington Street, and dedicated Dec. 13, 1837, Rev. James Huckins of Calais preaching the sermon. In 1818, Samuel Wheeler was appointed deacon. Both he and Deacon Hayden continued in service until their decease; and their sons, Charles H. Hayden and Loring ¥. Wheeler, were their immediate successors. For many years, the prayer and conference meetings of the church were held in the Hayden School-house, on the ledge at the top of Boynton Hill. Afterward, a commodious vestry was built on Green Street. Recently, the church building has been raised, and in the basement spacious and conven- ient vestry, parlor, library, and other rooms arranged, giving the parish its needed equipment all under one roof; and the former vestry is now the armory of the Frontier Guards. Although the society had been in existence for so many years under the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, it was not until the separation of the State of Maine that steps were taken to secure a legal organization; and on the 15th of June, 1820, the petition of Aaron Hayden and seven others was presented to the IVIaine legislature for the incorpora- tion of the \" First Baptist Church and Society in Eastport.\" The prayer of the petition was granted and organization completed Aug. 28, 182 1. Bequests amounting to $1,000 have been received from the estate of Deacon Samuel Stevens. Organization in 1888. Pastor, Rev. A. J. Hughes. Deacons, John S. Pearce, Samuel Campbell, Harvey Bishop, T. C. Adams. Church clerk, Horace Wilder. Parish clerk, Simon Stevens. Treasurer, T. C. Adams. Collector, B. A. Gardner. Trustees, P. M. Kane, T. C. Adams, John McGregor. Sunday-school superintendent, E. S. Kinney.

*Mr. Weston fixes the date of the organization of this church as 1798; but among the Sabine papers is a sketch written in 1848 by Rev. Kendall Brooks, Jr., pastor at the time, which makes the year 1802, and is doubtless correct. It is not only the earliest religious organization in town, but the oldest in the county east of Machias. The Eastern Lodge of Masons, instituted August 11, 1801, is the oldest organization in the Passamaquoddy region except the town of Eastport.

( ) From Eastport Sentinel, July 12, 1882, p.3,c.2: “The Baptist Church is now being raised preparatory to finishing off a vestry in the basement.”

( ) From Eastport Sentinel, July 26, 1882, p.3,c.3: “BUILDING NOTES.— Building operations are being carried on quite extensively in town just now. The work of building a new vestry under the Baptist Church is progressing finely. The church has been raised 13 feet, and the frame for the vestry has been placed in position. The contract for raising the church was taken by St. John parties, who accomplished the job in much less time than was expected.\"

( ) From Eastport Sentinel, October 25, 1882, p.3,c.1: “The improvements on the Baptist Church are rapidly nearing completion; when finished it will probably be the largest and one of the handsomest buildings in town. The society expects to occupy the church in about two weeks.”

( ) From Eastport Sentinel, February 7, 1883, p.3,c.1: “The Baptist Society opened the new rooms in the basement of their church to the public last Thursday evening with a supper, entertainment and sale of useful and fancy articles. There was a large crowd present and the affair was very successful. The Baptist Society may well feel proud of their new vestry.”

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