Winthrop Lakes Region Chamber will host a breakfast from 7:15 to 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, in the Winthrop Commerce Center Community Room, 16 Commerce Plaza, Winthrop.

Union Meeting House Board President John Perry will talk about the Historic Readfield Union Meeting House and its future as a local event venue, according to a news release from Barbara Walsh, Winthrop Lakes Regional Chamber director.

Nearly 200 years old, little has changed inside the meeting house. Adorned with stained-glass windows and artistic murals, the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the meeting house’s board aims to preserve the landmark.

Visiting the meeting house, Perry explains, is like walking back in time. Constructed in 1827, the building served as a multi-denominational house of worship for various faiths, since many congregations could not afford their own churches at that time.

“It’s rare for the entire building to be persevered,” Perry said, according to the release. “We’ve done our very best to keep the walls and original art and materials as fully in tact as possible.”

One of the building’s signature pieces of art is a trompe l’oeil mural by artist Charles J. Schumacher. Known for painting murals that depicted objects in three dimensions, Schumacher’s mural in the Union Meeting House creates the illusion of columns, arches and wall plaques on a flat plaster wall.

“It’s the best surviving example of the artist who worked primarily out of Portland, but who also worked in New England in the mid-1800s,” Perry said, according to the release. “Of the 51 commissions he worked on, this one is the top surviving example in pretty good condition.”

Though most of the building has been preserved, work needs to be done to maintain and restore certain features, Perry said.

“Our mission is to preserve the building and its artwork and to make it available to the community and the public,” Perry explained, noting that the board relies on fundraising and community support, according to the release.

Breakfast will cost $10 or $7 for members.

For more information, email [email protected] or call 377-8020.

For more information on the Union Meeting House, call 685-3531 or visit

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: