By Alexandra Molnar, Contributing Writer
Northborough – The Northborough Historic District Commission, with funding from the Community Preservation Act and support from Northborough Department of Public Works, initiated the creation and installation of a historic marker sign to designate the site of the first and second meeting house in Northborough, where the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church currently stands.
The first meetinghouse, built on land donated by Captain James Eager, was completed in 1756. It measured 46 feet long and 36 feet wide and had 20 pews and an upper gallery. It served as a gathering place for both town meetings and church services. The original structure was sold at a public auction, transferred to a new location at 206 South St. in Northborough, and then converted into a barn. A second meetinghouse was then built on the same site in 1808 and all town business was conducted there until 1821, when a separate Town House was built. The second meetinghouse burned down in 1945, yet the bell, which was cast in 1809 by the Paul Revere and Sons foundry, survived and currently stands on the church grounds. The present building that serves as the Unitarian Church was rebuilt and dedicated in 1948.
The historic sign is located on Church Street down the hill in front of the church; visitors are encouraged to visit the sign and compare the second meetinghouse (depicted in a photo on the sign) to the modern-day building.