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NO. R-11. JOINT RESOLUTION designating July 8, 2002 as Windham Meeting House Day.

(J.R.H. 5)

Offered by: Representatives Partridge of Windham and Obuchowski of Rockingham.

Whereas, on October 22, 1795, the General Assembly, responding to the petition of residents of Londonderry, divided the town in two and created the new municipality of Windham, and

Whereas, community gatherings and official town meetings were first held in local homes, and

Whereas, on November 11, 1799, the parishioners of Windham's first church, then located at the future intersection of Horsenail Hill and Popple Dungeon Road, voted to raise a new edifice, destined to become the Windham Congregational Church and the Windham Meeting House, and

Whereas, the new church was raised on July 8, 1802, and measured 54 feet long, 42 feet wide, and 25 feet high, and

Whereas, during the church's raising, Colonel Daniel Cobb miraculously escaped injury when a rafter broke loose and slid directly toward him, and

Whereas, the raising ceremony, involving one hundred strong souls and held on July 8, 1802, culminated in a celebration that featured a barrel of rum and loaf sugar costing the exorbitant sum of $16.67, and

Whereas, finally, in 1825, "sheep-pen" pews were attached to the floor as were galleries on three sides of the interior, and

Whereas, the craftsman Silas Stewart added a belfry in 1849, but only on the third try was a bell installed that proclaimed its call with a sufficiently resounding sound, and

Whereas, with the construction of the sanctuary in 1850, a meeting house below was no longer a wishful hope, and

Whereas, in 1852, the proprietors of the Windham Centre Meeting sold most of the western half of the church's lower story to Windham Town for use as a meeting house "with all the privileges and appurtenances thereunto belonging," and

Whereas, the Windham Meeting House, after two centuries, remains a center for official municipal gatherings, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly designates July 8, 2002 as Windham Meeting House Day in Vermont to commemorate the bicentennial of the raising of this magnificent edifice, which has earned a deservedly important place in the sacred and secular history of the Town of Windham, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the Windham Selectboard.