We are proud of our long history and of the people who have worked to create the foundations of our present beliefs and traditions. Historical Timeline

The church was founded in 1866 as the Rochester Universalist Church, and Reverend Silas Wakefield was called as our first minister. In that same year, the congregation dedicated a small church building on the current site of the Plummer Building in downtown Rochester. Through the years, we have built three other church buildings to serve a growing congregation.

Today, our members and friends continue to observe long-held traditions and to develop new ones for future generations.

The History Committee

The committee curates, stores, and protects historical items that describe our church. We meet the first Saturday of the month. Our first activity starts with an update on the status of new and current projects. Next, we set aside an hour to work with the artifacts from the Archives cabinet.

You are invited to become part of our church history by getting hands-on with artifacts left to us from our previous congregations. History Committee members can select an individual project with which to work or engage as part of a team working on larger, more complex projects.

Some of our finished projects include:

  • 150th Anniversary Video
  • Road trip to Minneapolis to get the Universalist bible and1869 Board minutes book rebound
  • An old-fashion quilting bee where everyone gathered around the 125th Anniversary quilt to give it a good cleaning
  • Browsing each scrapbook in the Hearth Room to create an index to topics

What You Can Do…

Access the Archives
The Archives cabinet is located on the second floor next to the elevators. Keys to the closet and cabinet are located in the office.

You will need to sign the check-out card on the door of the cabinet. We prefer that the boxes or items do NOT leave the building. You are free to photograph any of the items.

Access Archival Photos
The History Committee and other church members have digitized photographs and stored them for online access HERE.

Search the Scrapbooks
The scrapbooks in the Hearth room were started in the 1860’s and continue until 2012. The committee has created a PDF that lists the items in each scrapbook.

Scrapbook Table of Contents 1-6
Scrapbook Description 7-50

The Treasures book
This book gathers in one location, the pictures of historical artifacts with brief descriptions of each item. A copy of the book is located in the Hearth Room. View many treasures photos here.

Please contact the office if you are interested in ordering a copy of the book for about $70.

Read the original Board meeting minutes starting from 1869
One of our members digitized the minutes book so you can read about our history here.

Add to the Archives
Contact the church office for information on how to donate items.

Photos must be documented with event, date, and names of people pictured in the photograph.