Union Meeting House
The Union Meeting House (UMH) was erected in 1836 on land purchased from Isaac Crane, son of Brigadier General John Crane. The elder Crane was a Revolutionary War soldier whose service was rewarded, in part, with that tract of land.
The interior of the building was remodeled in 1866 and again in 1904. The belfry and bell were added at that time. Additional updates were added in 1069 with carpeting and pew cushions in 1971 and 1972.
It was a vibrant center of town with church services, Sunday school classes, activities, and outstanding holiday programs. Numerous weddings and funerals have been held there.
In about 2000 when attendance significantly declined, the UMH was offered to the town. It was accepted as a town building at the annual town meeting. During the winter, the roof began to leak causing considerable damage and mold issues.
Since then there have been major renovations. These include restoration of the ceiling and the windows, sill work, reshingling the roof and steeple, a new heating system, repainting the interior, and new steps and a ramp. The town has appropriated monies each year for the building. Most of the major improvements have been generously provided by grants from the Belvedere Historic Preservation Fund, through the Maine Community Foundation, and one grant from the Davis Family Foundation. Some labor has been provided by the Down East Correctional Facility. The town is grateful for all the help.
Currently, the town has received another grant from the Belvedere Fund for the installation of a bathroom. Work is expected to start this spring.
Much time has been focused on applying for and administering grant funds and on seeking recognition of the historic status of the building. The Union Meeting House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in April 2012.
Note: More details on the history of the UMH can be found in the History of Whiting Maine