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Unitarian Church

152 Pearl Street
Burlington, Chittenden County, Vermont, 05401

Unitarian Church in Burlington, Vermont
Photo: Niranjan Arminius License: CC BY-SA 4.0
Built in 1816, the Unitarian Church is the oldest remaining place of worship established by settlers in Burlington, Vermont.
The laying of the cornerstone of the Unitarian church occurred around the 1st of May in 1816, with the remainder of the construction taking about seven months to complete, including the clock, bell, and organ (which was transported from Boston by sleigh). In December of that year, the pews of the lower floor were sold "for upwards of $21,000".

In 1910, prompted by a letter from historical researcher from Boston, the Burlington city treasurer L.C. Grant had discovered that the original bell for the church was cast by Paul Revere on October 13, 1816. The bell weighing 1,286 lb (583 kg), along with its tongue weighing 31 lb (14 kg) was sold to the Town of Burlington for $592.65. The bell was recast in 1828 and was replaced sometime in the 1900s after a crack had developed.

In August 1954, the church steeple was struck by lightning that unknowingly caused extensive deterioration over the course of the ensuing sixteen months, until it was revealed that the base had settled and tilted eastward by approximately two feet. By 1956, the decision was made to demolish the steeple, which took about six weeks to complete. Steeplejacks out of Framingham, Massachusetts managed to salvage the windows, bell, and pieces of metal sheathing during the process. A replacement spire was completed and dedicated in September 1958.

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