The Church of the Good Shepherd, our second home, was built in 1833 as a Union Church serving both Universalists and Episcopalians. Town meetings and events were held there until the adjacent Town Hall was built in 1857. It became the First Universalist Society in 1869. In 1971, we sold the building to the town of Springfield and prepared to build our new home at 21 Fairground Road.
The first Universalists in the area lived on Parker Hill and in Rockingham. In 1792, they sought to hold services in Rockingham Meeting House and were refused. Four years later, they were finally allowed to worship there. In 1805, a brick meeting house with a short steeple was built on Parker Hill, possibly the second Universalist meeting house built in the United States. It included a smaller room which served for a time as the local school. The building is long gone and the site is now marked as a historic site. Once a year, we gather at Parker Hill for a service and a picnic.
Parker Hill Cemetery and Ash Garden
Behind the site of the first Universalist Meeting House is the historic cemetery. Our church maintains space there for cremated remains to be interred, as well, as an ash garden. Acquisition of lots is with the approval of the Board of Trustees. The ash garden is marked by a large stone where 3” x 5” engraved may be attached at the expense of the family. The Cemetery Committee maintains a chart.
Parker Hill is reached by taking South St. to Scrabble Four Corners and then Parker Hill Rd for approximately two miles. The lot is on the right side of the road.