Guide to the Records of the First Universalist Society at Hartland, Vermont, 1802 - 2002Manuscript MS-947

History

The First Universalist Society of Hartland was established at Hartland Three Corners by the Catholic Benevolent Society in 1802. This religious group, which would later change its name to the Universalist Society (1822), called Hosea Ballou to be its first minister (1803-1809). Initially, the Universalists shared the Union Meeting House in the center of town with the local Congregationalists, but in 1822, they built their own meetinghouse at Four Corners. The Universalist's current meetinghouse was built in 1854; its construction caused a major rift amongst members, and the Church at Four Corners faced its first member loss. In the mid-nineteenth century, the Universalists faced further decline that would last well into the twentieth century, as mainline Protestants came to embrace many Universalist positions. In the 1920's, the Church at Four Corners formed an alliance with the Congregationalists of what was termed the "Brick" church at Three Corners, and the two groups, while separate organizations, came to share one minister. Following World War II, however, the Congregational Brick Church joined the United Church of Christ in forming the Unitarian Universalist Association after the merging of the American Unitarian Association and Universalist Church of America (1961).

Finding Aids