The village of South Windham, where the town’s only “Main Street” is located was the first attempt by the early settlers to have a real community. Here, the first post office was located, along with the plank sidewalks, tavern where horses would be rested and fed, the hay scale, the gristmill where corn was ground and all the marks of civilization.

Early settlers were religious, some say superstitious, but along with the stores and cobblers and blacksmiths, the people needed a church. The “first church” had been held in the Province fort until the construction of a house of worship at the corner of Webb and Chute Roads.

Early in 1840, a group of residents gathered in South Windham to discuss the feasibility of raising a church in the village and how it would be paid for. They purchased a lot and raised building funds by selling subscriptions and pews. The organization was called the Little Falls Meeting House Company.

In June they selected a building committee to construct a 38×48-foot building with belfry, steeple, dome and spire. The cost was estimated to be $1,500 including the lot purchased from William Brown. Samuel Elder was the master framer.

On Sept 1, 1840, according to Thomas Smith, historian and clerk of the church organization, the frame, without the belfry, was raised in “three hours and ten minutes” – it took two hours to raise the belfry.

The new Universalist hurch was dedicated to public worship in May 1841. The history of this church tells of hardships and difficulty of obtaining a steady minister, but it has served the community well.

In 1893, the “ladies circle” held a fair, raising $170 with which they helped pay for repairs including rebuilding the spire and dome, bought new carpet and curtains and contributed to repainting the building.

On Oct. 11, 1908, a bell weighing more than 1,200 pounds was placed in the belfry of the church. It was paid for by the citizens of the village.

Today, more than 170 years from the time it was built, the old church is known as South Windham Community Church on Main Street.


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