Alton United Methodist Church circa 1855 – page

Alton United Methodist Church (Alton) circa 1855

Information provided by Eugene Dewispeleare Pastor of Alton United Methodist Church

Located on Old Ridge Rd near Rt 14 in Alton.

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The beauty of the stonework attracts many sightseers to stop, walk around the structure and take pictures of a classic.    The skill and art used in this type of structure was that of German immigrants who needed work to support themselves and their families.  A contract was sent out and men began work on this church in about 1850.  Stones were found along the shore of Lake Ontario and transported some five miles by horse or ox power.   In the early life of these small rural churches such as this one, they served not only as religious centers but as a center for a  multitude of other functions as well.  Pot luck dinners, Sunday afternoon entertainment of a proper nature, playing games, baseball, checkers and chess, just to name a few.  The community surrounding this church was all invited.  Churches were social and cultural centers as well as centers for spiritual and christian development.  This was effected by modes of transportation over the years, especially in small outlying communities in a township such as Sodus.   With the advent of better and faster transportation the small settlements began to shrink as people migrated to larger population centers.  As a result, many of the small businesses failed as well as the small rural churches.   People are having to travel greater distances for the services wanted and needed.  Many small churches such as this one will gradually disappear from the landscape. It is hard to say what will happen to this beautiful cobblestone structure after the spiritual and christian activity no longer exist in the Alton United Methodist Church.   Thank you for preserving this historic structure within this mural.

This photo shows the Alton United Methodist Church with its parsonage. Photo courtesy of Bette Bugni.