The Brick Meeting House (built as a Baptist Church) of Westford was constructed in 1822 and is the oldest church building in town. It is located at the Eastern end of the Town Common and has been a landmark for almost 200 years.
In November 1994 a committee was formed to begin exploring the possibility of renovating and restoring the building and is now known as the Brick Meeting House Society, BMHS, (taking the name of the original organization). The mission of the BMHS is to restore and maintain the building as a town landmark and community center.
In July 1996, the Brick Meeting House Society was awarded our first grant with a State of Vermont Planning Grant in the amount of $11,200.00. At that time the group also held an Ice Cream Social and Band Concert as well as a letter fundraising campaign which was very successful. These events continue along with other fundraising efforts and grant applications, as part of the ongoing process of restoring and maintaining the Brick Meeting House.
What is not readily apparent from a casual view is the extent to which there had been substantial deterioration of the structure, requiring significant repair to roof trusses, foundation and floor framing. Restoration work is necessary for other issues as well as maintenance of work that has already been completed. Over the years the bathroom and interior has been renovated to allow for handicap access. The electrical system was upgraded, the ceiling restored with ceiling fans installed, walls repaired and plastered and windows restored. The Stained Glass windows in the front were professionally restored.
A handicap ramp has been added to the exterior but needs to be modified to allow for easier access by wheelchairs. Future plans include floor restoration, interior and exterior painting, and brick repointing. The group would also like to restore the south porch which was originally built during the 1912 renovation but later removed. This porch will greatly improve the rear entrance, improving user safety and building durability.
Since 1994 the building has been used for community dinners, receptions, small group functions, theater productions and other gatherings. Once these renovations mentioned above are implemented, the Brick Meeting House will be much better poised to continue serving Westford and its neighbors as a Community Center. Thus, we will preserve a secular facility, a local treasure located on the increasingly beautiful Westford Town Common.
BMH prior to the 1912 renovation
Any voluntary contributions to help with the restoration of this fine building would be appreciated. Please contact the BMHS via this website, or one of our directors, if you have any questions in connection with this project.
Contributions may be sent directly to the Brick Meeting House Society of Westford, P.O. Box 63, Westford VT 05494-0201. The Brick Meeting House Society of Westford has 501c(3) status which will allow you to gain a tax benefit as the result of any contribution.
Early picture soon after the 1912 renovation.