VASSALBORO — The River Meeting House, or better known as Oak Grove Chapel, recently received a $7,900 grant from the Belvedere Historic Preservation Grant Program of the Maine Community Foundation. The money from this grant was used to begin the construction work needed to preserve this historic site.

The Belvedere grant will be used to keep the foundation concrete from crumbling and prevent the structure from further water damage to the basement. This will help stabilize the building so more work can be done to the building. The drainage system was also updated.

The original River Meeting House was built in 1786 and was the only structure on the map in Vassalboro at that time. The Meeting House was given to the Oak Grove School in the late 1800s. Charles M. Bailey, a headmaster of Oak Grove School and his wife, Sophia Bailey organized renovations to the chapel in 1895.

They built around the original structure, added space, stained glass and enhanced the entrances. The old roof, beams and very wide boards from the original structure can still be seen in the attic and basement of the building.

The Oak Grove Chapel is beautiful with the shingle-style architecture outside and elaborate oak ceiling inside.

With offices in Ellsworth and Portland, the Maine Community Foundation works with donors and other parties to improve the quality of life for all Maine people.

To learn more about the foundation,visit

For more information about the preservation of the Chapel, email Susan Briggs at

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