Where in Maine

Can you name this striking church and the town it’s in?

When the British draftsman Henry Vaughan came to New England in 1881, he brought with him a passion for the English Gothic style of architecture that was common among Anglican churches in the Old World. This Maine landmark was among his first U.S. commissions, and it’s the country’s first church built in what would become known as the Gothic revival cottage style.

It was a throwback even then. Its half-timbered stucco exterior was modeled after a Welsh church that dates to 1406. On the vaulted ceilings inside, Vaughan did the painstaking stencil work himself, flat on his back, Michelangelo-style.

In the warmer months, parishioners gather for prayer or meditation in a memorial garden out back, overlooking a tidal river and one of the state’s few reversing falls. The river is an aquaculture hub, and among its better-known products is one that shares its name with the Episcopalian ship captain who brought Vaughan to the New World and commissioned this sanctuary. The region was a shipbuilding hub then and had already welcomed waves of immigrants, including Irish families who built yet another place of worship for the history books: New England’s oldest continually operating Catholic church, just 2 miles up the road.

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We’ll feature our favorite letter in an upcoming issue — and send the winner a Down East wall calendar.


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