The town of Waterbury, Vermont was settled over 250 years ago, in 1763. By 1801,
the Congregational Church had organized, although without a building of its own. In 1823, the group hired the Carpenter brothers and began construction of the White Meeting House on land purchased from Amasa Pride. In 1824, the White Meeting House Society was formed, and the building was completed and dedicated.
Not surprisingly, the building has changed over its nearly 200-year history. A quick review shows its first addition in 1857; the addition of gothic detailing in 1860 and of stained glass in 1890; finishing the basement in 1892; adding the organ and choir loft in 1901; building a new chapel and Sunday school in 1940; and the installment of carillonic bells in the steeple tower in 1950. The organ was replaced in 1976. 2003 saw another major renovation that included new office, classroom and restroom space.
In 2014-15, the sanctuary received a bit of a facelift with new ceilings and carpets, improved lighting, and a new, electronic organ.
History buffs may also be interested to notice several display cases throughout the building, which include these artifacts: the communion set at the front of the church was given in memory of Eliza Carpenter Wells. The case itself was donated in 1912 in memory of Julia Seabury. a World War II honor roll, at the back of the sanctuary, lists and summarizes the lives of veterans who served from this community. copies of founding documents are in the library a model of the church, as it was originally built and in its current form, is in the library.
As floods have played a defining role in Waterbury’s history, the White Meeting House has played an important role in Waterbury’s recovery from these destructive events. From a local history, “No one who lived in Waterbury in the disastrous November flood of 1927 will ever forget the hospitality of the White Meeting House whose dining room and kitchen were opened for several weeks for meals – nor the heartwarming Thanksgiving dinner served there by the good people of Burlington.”