Celebrating Our 175th Anniversary
1835 ~ 2010
Union Church was built in the autumn of 1835 at The Point
on land bounded by the Powow River and overlooking the Merrimack River. At that time the area known as Point
Shore was part of Salisbury, Massachusetts. Legend has it that the building was designed by area ship-yard owners and constructed
by their crews in the slack season.
In fact, virtually identical to the 1834 East Parish Church in Salisbury Square, Union Church was most likely built following a design taken from one of the architectural
pattern books of the day, possibly an Asher Benjamin book. The church exhibits a number of Greek Revival details, combined
with forms carried over from the Federal period. The front windows are Palladian in style, but framed with Greek Revival
the church had square box pews, but in the summer of 1873 when the interior was renovated, the original pews were replaced
by "new" pews which remain to this day. A pipe organ was installed at the front of the church. However,
it was severely damaged during the flood of 1936 and was eventually removed.
The vestry near the adjacent Powow River was built in 1854 with an open horse shed between it and the church
proper. In 1892 the open shed was enclosed to create a larger vestry.
On May 20, 1918, the church suffered some damage due to a disastrous fire at the Morrill Coal Wharf, which
was located almost directly across the street.
number of church records, missing for many years, were discovered during World War II under the eaves in the attic at
338 Main Street, the Abner Lowell Bayley home. *
as Union Evangelical Church, Union Congregational Church is a member of the United Church of Christ. The UCC is the largest
protestant denomination in Massachusetts, with roots in the faith of our Pilgrim founders.
The United Church of Christ was formed in 1957 as the union
of the Congregational Church and the Evangelical and Reformed Church.
* [From The History of Amesbury Massachusetts, by Sara