Abandoned Vermont: Clarendon Church

Located in East Clarendon near the Kingsley Covered Bridge and Kingsley Grist Mill, this ca. 1890 Queen Anne church sits lonely on the side of the road. It’s not hidden in the woods or down a dirt road, which makes me wonder why it’s not being used. I cannot find any information about the owner or the fate of this building. Based on other images I could find, this church has been boarded up for at least six years (though I’d guess many more). If you have any information, please share.

East Clarendon Church. (Please excuse the blur from the lens.)

The applied woodwork on the steeple reminds me of a snowflake.

Weathered clapboard with barely any paint remaining.

No signs of use, but at least someone mows the lawn. If you look closely, you can see that the slate roof is still in good condition.

This church is a great candidate for adaptive reuse. Hopefully something will be done soon, as junction between the steeple and front facade reveal deterioration, likely from snow and rain accumulating.

This church is listed in the Vermont State Register of Historic Places.

18 thoughts on “Abandoned Vermont: Clarendon Church

    • Kaitlin says:

      Luke, I’d have to check the actual survey record (I can), but I found this church in The Historic Architecture of Rutland County book, which was published in 1988 by the Division for Historic Preservation. If it’s like many state surveys records, it was recorded in the late 1970s/early 1980s. I’ll let you know.

  1. John Hlumyk says:

    Most things have antecedents, either identical or in variations of a theme, but I have never seen anything quite like the applied decoration on that steeple. Pretty cool. The place is in great shape really, everything looks rather sound. The roof looks as true as the day it was built. Walls look plumb and the clapboard is excellent in spite of the absence of paint. Someone needs to get inventive and save it before it really takes a turn for the worse.

  2. Isaac says:

    I grew up in the farmhouse 4 houses east away from the airport, next to a couple trailers, big green barn across the street. That church has looked like that since as long as I can remember, which is back into the early 80’s (I was born in ’81). I remember my dad calling me about 10 years ago and telling me that someone had purchased it and was planning on restoring it. They came and shored up the sill under the steeple, which was about to collapse, and that was all they ever did. My parents aren’t sure, still, who mows it every week in the summer. It may be one of the neighbors. The gentlemen across the street has been retired for about 20 years now and is very bored. Once he passes away, I imagine the grass will get much longer.

    If you’d like to know anything else about the area, known as East Clarendon, I’d be happy to share.

    Thanks for posting these pictures. Neat to see something from my childhood preserved on the internet.

    • Joyce Frederick says:

      Issac I grew up right down the road from the church, I am wondering where you grew up. My parents are the Frederick family.

      • Isaac says:

        I believe my dad used to buy wood off a Frederick. I’m thinking that our neighbors were… You. Our house used to be yellow and brown. My mom’s got it a terrible shade of violet now. Like I said, we were right across the street from the big Green barn.

  3. Isaac says:

    I was just up over the weekend. The plywood as been removed from the front door, and some work done around the door jamb. Maybe there’s still hope…

    • John Parker says:

      This church is owned by a religious organization and has been for many years. !2 years ago extensive work was done on this building to save it from impending collapse. 12 years ago the brush was as high as the edge of the roof. The brush was removed and the lawn was seeded which accounts for the lush lawn that is there today. The building was jacked up 18 inches on the East side and the sill, floor joists and partial wall studs were replaced. The steeple was jacked up from the West side and steeple legs were replaced. One leg had rotted through the front wall of the building and would have buckled during that winter if it hadn’t been repaired at that time. The lack of paint on the building is certainly not reflective of the ongoing work on this building. This year the bell tower floor was rebuilt and partially roofed. The stained glass windows were smashed by vandals thus the plywood. The windows have been repaired but the plywood will remain until religious services are once again held at this location. The building is not for sale.

  4. Joyce Frederick says:

    I grew up down the road from this church and it has been closed up since I was a kid. They have done major work to it and looks so much better.

  5. Donna says:

    This is what we around this area call “The Snowflake Church”.
    Work has been being done to it, and actually, last spring, a church service was held there.
    Light blue shutters have been added, with bell (Like wedding bells) cutouts are on the shutters.
    I hope work continues on this cute little church.

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