1870: The founding date on the bell in the tower. William Blake who cast the bell had been an apprentice to Paul Revere in Boston.
History of the building
The building, also known as the Church of the New Jerusalem (Swedenborgian), was constructed in 1870. One of the finest surviving examples of American gothic architecture in New England, it was designed by the Boston architect Samuel Thayer, and constructed by local builder John Hinckley. The interior features gothic arches, spectacular frescoes and the original tracker pipe organ by William Horatio Clarke.
By the latter part of the twentieth century the church congregation had dwindled and the building had fallen into extreme disrepair.
THIS VIDEO PRESENTATION WAS CREATED JUST AFTER THE TOWER HAD BEEN RESTORED. IT HAS SOME GREAT FOOTAGE OF THE DAMAGE IN THE AUDIENCE ROOM THAT HAS SINCE BEEN RESTORED, SOME EXCELLENT FOOTAGE OF THE TOWER BEING REINSTATED, AND ALSO PROVIDES A QUICK OVERVIEW OF THE CHURCH'S FOUNDING AND CONSTRUCTION. (MANY THANKS TO CHRYSALIS VIDEO FOR THE FOOTAGE!)
About the organization
In 1998, a group of concerned citizens founded the Yarmouth New Church Preservation Foundation, in order to save the dangerously deteriorating building. The Foundation subsequently became registered as a Massachusetts charitable corporation and a federal IRS 501 c(3) non-profit organization. The Foundation has no religious affiliation whatsoever.
The Foundation is run by an all-volunteer board of directors representing the Cape Cod community. Maintenance of the building and improvements are primarily funded through Annual Contributions made by Friends of the Yarmouth New Church Preservation Foundation, donations, and ticket sales from cultural programs.
Renamed Thacher Hall in 2022, the building is now available for weddings, memorial services and special events. The Foundation co-operates with the other historical organizations on the Yarmouth Port Common and throughout the community.
Restoration & preservation
The Foundation has worked with the community to complete many ambitious preservation projects over the years. It has undertaken the complete repair and restoration of the exterior including reconstruction of the bell tower, the cleaning and restoration of the original stained glass windows, cleaning and restoration of the original egg tempera frescoes in The Audience Room, and bringing water and restrooms to the building for the first time since it was built.
The final major project involves the installation of a HVAC system that will enable us to accommodate the community in climate controlled comfort for year round events. We are grateful for the support of the Yarmouth voters town meeting approval for the grant that funded the project currently underway this spring, we hope to be completing this critical work prior to the launch of our historic 150th anniversary events season.