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[p. 33] the tannery at Whitmore brook, while a plenty of sand was also to be had near by. Only the walls were thus coated, but doubtless the mud-wasps did their share among the roof timbers and king-posts, which, with the beams, were left exposed to view.

The ‘body of seats’ were a series of long wooden benches without any backs, which occupied the central portion of the ‘flore’ and were movable.

The pulpit was elevated several feet, requiring a stairway to enter it upon the left-hand side, and was not complete without a sounding-board suspended above it, while the deacons' seat was in front of the stairs and facing the ‘body of seats.’

We may well imagine that the good people of Meadford assembled in their new meeting-house with gladness and a commendable pride at its completion in 1696, but there was probably no service of dedication, as we term it today. On May 25, 1696, the town directed the selectmen to get a sufficient title to the land on which it had been built, and on March 6, 1699, the deed was voted to be placed in the keeping of Major Nathaniel Wade, and a copy made in the town record book by the town clerk.

On the former occasion a very important committee was chosen, whose duty it was to ‘place the inhabitants in said meeting-house.’ This committee was Left. Peter Tufts, John Hall, Senr., Caleb Brooks, Insi. Stephen Francis and Stephen Willis. The duties of no modern mayor or alderman could compare with those of this committee. First, they were themselves seated by the selectmen, for so the sovereign people in town meeting assembled had ordained. Then the trouble began. Age, wealth, generosity in contribution, and social distinction or ‘quality,’ were the factors that entered into the problem the committee had to solve, and how much jealousy and heart burnings, ill-concealed ofttimes, family quarrels and the like were thus engendered! From their decision there was no appeal, and where the committee placed one, he or she had to sit for the year. Theirs must have been a difficult labor, a thankless task.

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