31 May 2013

Hinesburg Road Church and Schoolhouse

west guilford baptist church, guilford, vt

This church, schoolhouse, and cemetery sit together on a small rise, surrounded by overgrown farmland and forest. Like many of my favorite haunts, we first became acquainted when I was out riding my horse as a teenager. Though it's fortunately not abandoned, and gets regular maintenance, it's been disused for decades, and remains beautifully frozen in the early 20th century.

The schoolhouse was built in 1800...

and the church in 1818.

I. Church 
west guilford baptist church, guilford, vt

Grand cathedrals are always a pleasure for an art history major like myself, but the quiet simplicity and clean lines here really appeal to me as a Vermonter. It's quintessential Old New England with its sparse honest looks; no frills here. And while churches like these are a common sight throughout the region, few are as organically preserved as this one, which appears to have had its last decorating job done sometime around 1890.

west guilford baptist church, guilford, vt

Let's take a closer look at those velvet Victorian Eastlake chairs behind the pulpit:

An alternative view of the schoolhouse, as glimpsed on the waver of some very early glass panes.

In the front end:

It's all about the wall colors and that splendid bench.

II. Cemetery

The little cemetery contains graves from the Civil War through the present day; not as old as the nearby Blanchard cemetery, but still an interesting plot with some beautiful old headstones. I was especially taken with the lovely little gates.

Just beyond the split-rail, I found this old metal fencepost (above, to my right). In the church's busier days, I figure there must have been some kind of Victorian wrought-iron thing fencing the cemetery. Probably where the gates came from, too.

III. Schoolhouse 

Hinesburg Schoolhouse, Guilford, VT

Hinesburg Schoolhouse, Guilford, VT

Hinesburg Schoolhouse, Guilford, VT

Location: Guilford, VT