Visiting First Congregational Church, Littleton, New Hampshire: Providing a Spired Skyline to a New England Town
Conspicuous spires in proximity to the White Mountains
[NB: Among the many notable buildings which are the subject of the hubpages, these may include religious buildings, described as churches, etc.; these descriptions centre on the buildings' architectural and historical interest.]
The town of Littleton, Grafton County, New Hampshire, on the Ammonoosuc River, near the White Mountains, has a number of significant examples of fine architecture.
These include, at 189 Main Street, Littleton's First Congregational Church.
The most conspicuous aspect of this building lies in its twin spires, which for many years have provided a highly noticeable profile to the town's skyline, visible from Interstate 93, which runs nearby.
Other features of First Congregational Church include several pointed window arches, and flying buttresses. Together with the twin spires themselves, the structure as a whole thus provides a very strong expression of Gothic architectural style.
The original congregation dates from 1803. The existing building on Main Street, Littleton, dates from 1833 (1).
The conspicuous, twin spires dates from 1874.
Internal features of the building include a Hook and Hastings organ, dating from 1883; and Tiffany stained glass windows, which were added in 1902.
Given the proximity of New Hampshire's White Mountains, the twin spires of First Congregational Church, Littleton may be viewed from certain angles against the backdrop of Mount Washington, the state's highest peak (2) at 1917 metres (6289.4 feet).
Historical associations of First Congregational Church, Littleton include the fact that both Lyman (3) and Henry Ward Beecher (4) are known to have preached from its pulpit.
April 8, 2019
(1) See also: http://www.1stconglittleton.org/ourchurch/briefhistory.html
(2) Indeed, Mount Washington is the highest mountain the Northeastern United States.
(3) Lyman Beecher (1775-1863), a prominent, Presbyterian minister active in temperance causes, was father to Harriet Ward Beecher (1811-1896), known as author of 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' (1852).
(4) Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887), Congregational minister active in many political causes, was at one time known as America's most famous clergyman; persistent rumours of his private life also dogged his reputation.
Also worth seeing
Littleton itself has a number of interesting examples of architecture, including the Courthouse and Post Office. It provides a good base for exploring the White Mountains.
The Moore Reservoir (distance approx. 6.9 miles / 11.1 kilometres), on the Connecticut River, extends to extends to 3,181 acres / 12.87 square kilometres, and is known for its fishing and boating opportunities.
At Franconia (distance: 7.5 miles / 12.1 kilometres), is The Frost Place, former home of renowned poet Robert Frost, now a museum; a striking, Neoclassical former Dow Academy building, now a condominium, was formerly part of Franconia College; the Franconia Notch State Park lies in the White Mountains.
At Woodsville (distance: 20.4 miles / 32.8 kilometres) an historic, covered bridge has been restored in recent years; the Opera Building has an interesting Romanesque Revival design.
How to get there:
Burlington International Airport (distance to 189 Main Street, Littleton, NH : 92.6 miles / 149 kilometres), where car rental is available from various companies, is served by a variety of airlines, including Porter, JetBlue, Delta and United, which fly to a number of North American connections. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. Visitors to the United States are advised to refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.
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