First Congregational Church of Amherst (1868)

The Congregational Church in Amherst dates back to 1739, when the future town was still a part of Hadley. There have been four successive meeting houses for the church. The original meeting house, built around 1740, stood on the hill where the Amherst College Octagon would later be built. It was replaced, on the same site, by a more elaborate building, completed in 1788. The third meeting house was built across South Pleasant Street in 1829; since remodeled, it is now owned by Amherst College and is known as College Hall. The current First Congregational Church was built of Monson granite in 1867-1868. The architect was George Hathorne of Springfield and the local contractor was C.W. Lessey, who lived nearby; neighbor William Austin Dickinson supervised the construction. The same team would then begin construction of Walker Hall at Amherst College in 1868. Since its construction, the church has been much altered over the years, both inside and out.

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