Abandoned Vermont: South Ryegate Church

Located in South Ryegate, this 1880 church is a landmark from many vantage points. This is the First Presbyterian Church, but has not been used as a church in years. However, it’s still in good condition (with some repair and maintenance needed) and is an impressive building. Perhaps what is most striking about this building is just how much wood is on it, from the clapboards to the brackets to the lintels to the entrance hood to the buttresses, everything is wood and detailed.

A friendly neighbor who keeps an out for the church showed me around. According the him, the church has not held services in many years and was deconsecrated in the early 2000s. There is another Presbyterian Church nearby that is still in use. Although in good condition, the building has been the victim of some interior vandalism. The neighbor seemed hopeful for a brighter future for this building.

First Prebyterian Church, South Ryegate, VT.

The front entrance.

Note the brackets are holding brackets.

Huge granite blocks serve as the walkways.

The parsonage behind the church.

As a result of Tropical Storm Irene flooding, the brook behind the church changed course and now runs underneath the parsonage.

The interior of the church shows wear and the need for maintenance, but overall appears to be in sound condition and very much intact.

Simply beautiful. Who wants a former church?

What a magnificent structure, don’t you think? If you’re in South Ryegate, this is definitely worth a look. Because of its seemingly sound structure and historic significance and integrity, it would be shame for this church to remain unused and abandoned.


23 thoughts on “Abandoned Vermont: South Ryegate Church

  1. Mark says:

    Beautiful structure, and yes, definitely worth saving if at all possible. I´ve seen very similar churches, with the same imposing front piece and roof line, but this one is especially well-adorned. Its very 1880´s. The brook pic was alarming !!

    • Kaitlin says:

      Imagine my surprise standing near the building and saying, hmm, that brook sounds close. It must be right behind the building… and then looking and finding out that it is right under the building. My goodness.

  2. doug says:

    hello,does anybody know who the owner is of this church? phone# to reach? i live right down the road from this church.. please help!! thanks,doug

    • Kaitlin says:

      Hi Doug,

      I’d recommend contacting the Preservation Trust of Vermont – Ann Cousins (ann@ptvermont.org), and I believe she can point you in the right direction. Let me know how it goes.

  3. Tracy Armstrong says:

    I lived in South Ryegate, VT. My theatre group in the 1990’s used this building to host a play in 1995 – “Alice in Videoland” – it was then owned by Dr. Genero (sp?) who I believe is still working at the clinic in Wells River, VT. He might have information on who the current owner is (he may still be, I don’t know for sure).

    • doug says:

      hey tracy,yeah i was asking around and some people around the area had told me that they did a play there years ago!! but i did find the new owner of the church!! nice guy! “john” and we asked him about shooting a music video inside the church!! as it has the creepy look where looking for! the place is realy run down know!! and the back apartment is in realy bad shape since the hurracane hit us awile back!! and washed the whole underneath the intire building….but anyways thanks for the reply!! :)) ~doug

  4. Jaclyn says:

    Hi, does anyone know the actual address of this place? I’m heading down to South Ryegate to meet up with some relatives and would love to check out this place.

  5. stephen says:

    I looked at this property many years ago when it was for sale. Does anyone know if it is for sale now and, if so, details or who owns it? Thanks! Stephen

  6. Arthur says:

    Hello, this church just popped up on the Vermont MLS today (July 10, 2014), it’s listed at 46,000. Thank you for your excellent photos!

  7. Troy says:

    I have a book of sermons written by John Bole and the book is signed by Pastor John Bole of the first presbyterian church of South Ryegate, December 1862. I assume that was a predecessor church building to this one?

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