occurred on November 10, 1691, at which time it was voted to call a special town meeting at Thomas Willis' house at a date to be appointed by the selectmen, on or before the tenth of December next, to consider the erection of a meeting-house for the town.
This meeting was held November 30, and a committee consisting of John Hall, senior, and Lieut. Peter Tufts
, was appointed to ‘Jntreat Mada Wade
& the ouersers of maior Jonathan Wades farme for one quarter of an acre of land for the erecting & setling a meting house neare or opon the Land that sd maior formerly appointed for a Schole house that sd meadford may inicy it for the publick house,’ etc., promising to erect one if permission was given.
On January 17, 169 2/3, a vote was passed that a meetinghouse should be erected on or before May, 1694, and to be finished by the first of October following, or sooner, if possible, on the land of Mr. Thomas Willis
near the gate by Marble brook
on a rock on the north side of ‘Oborn Rode,’ and that Peter Tufts, Caleb Brooks
and Thomas Willis
be a committee to bargain for the construction of the same, certain restrictions being put in relative to materials and work, the house to be ‘seven & twenty foot long twenty four foot wide & fifteen foot between joynts.’
The building of this house was a subject of legislation during several meetings, the contract for the construction being finally given to Thomas Willis
, John Whitmore
, John Bradshaw
, and Stephen Willis
for sixty pounds current money of New England
This was afterwards increased to eighty pounds, it being voted to have a ‘pulpit and deacon's seat made & the body of seats & the wals plaistered with lime.’
The building appears to have been finally finished; for on May 25, 1696, the records show that a vote was taken to appoint a committee of five men to seat the inhabitants in the meeting house, and instructing the selectmen to get a sufficient title for the town to the land on which it was built.
The expense of the construction of the building was met by a special rate assessed on each inhabitant.