MOUNT VERNON — An evening program planned for 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, at the Mount Vernon Community Center, 2 Main St., will give local residents a close-up look at the Union Meeting House in Readfield. Historian Marius B. Peladeau will present a slide show that visually documents the building’s 190 years in the community and President John M. Perry will present an overview of past, present and future restoration efforts.

The Readfield Meeting House was built in 1827-28 to serve as a “union” church for those Protestant faiths in the town who could not afford to erect their own building. It flourished in the nineteenth century and in 1866-68 underwent a complete interior renovation that turned it from a Federal-style building into one that reflected the Classical Revival trend in architecture that prevailed in the Victorian era.

The trompe l’oeil murals in the sanctuary that are so famous today were painted at that time and their great beauty and importance resulted in the Meeting House being placed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. In the twentieth century the congregation declined and by World War II it was used infrequently. Maintenance was spotty and the building started to deteriorate. In the 1970s, a nonprofit board was formed to preserve the building and efforts have been ongoing since that time, with major structural work having been accomplished in recent years.

Peladeau will include photographs and documents in his slide show about the Meeting House and Perry will outline what the board hopes to accomplish in coming years as fundraising continues. All donations will go toward the restoration of the Meeting House. Refreshments will be served.

For more information, contact M.B. Peladeau at [email protected] or 685-4537.

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