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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.

 

Property Name Lower Meeting House and East Bethel Cemetery
Reference Number 13000440
State Maine
County Oxford
Town Bethel
Street Address 1797 Intervale Road
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 6/25/2013
Areas of Significance ARCHITECTURE
Link to full file http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/feature/places/pdfs/13000440.pdf
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Located in the rural, settlement of East Bethel, Maine the Lower Meeting House is a classic example of a type of meeting house or church that was erected by some rural communities in Maine in four decades prior to the Civil War. Built as a 'union' church, the building was initially utilized by the town's Methodist and Baptist church organizations. The relatively plain building exhibits late Federal style massing and ornamentation, and a handsome interior with straight wooden pews, wainscoting, choir loft and pulpit. Erected by 1831, and somewhat remodeled in the decades after the Civil War, this is an example of a type of rural church found throughout Maine featuring a rectilinear footprint, gable front roof and austere classical proportions, but which lacks stylistic pretension. Adjacent to the church , and historically associated with it, is the East Bethel Cemetery which along with the church served the surrounding community.The Lower Meeting House is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion C, as a locally significant example of a type of church architecture most commonly found in small rural communities in the mid-nineteenth century. _The period of significance includes the three years during which the building was erected or altered: c. 1831, 1887, and 1901. By virtue of its past and present history as a building used by a religious body, Criterion Consideration A applies; however, this property is recognized as a significant local example of an architectural type.

 

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria