Oakdale United Methodist Church
Tuesday, May 28, 2024
Praise God, Love Others, Grow Spiritually, and Share Jesus!

Our History

Oakdale United Methodist Church is the only West Boylston church still in its original building on the original site, the only active church building to survive the building of the Wachusett reservoir.

From information forwarded by Bonnie Fancy:

"The Methodist congregation began in 1851 and met in Freedom Hall until 1858, when the membership outgrew the Hall. On land deeded to them by William Thomas, they built the current church at a cost of $5,000.  It was dedicated in 1859.  The Ladies Circle helped raise money to pay off the debt incurred in building the church and purchasing an organ.  They had enough to add a chandelier and side lights to the sanctuary. 

In 1876 a new bell, christened the “Centennial Bell” was purchased for $500 including shipping and repairs to the belfry.  In 1888 the Young People’s Missionary Society gave a gift toward church expenses and new pulpit furniture was purchased. Apparently it was too large for the existing Sanctuary platform because it was enlarged at that time. 

During the 1890’s the church underwent a major remodeling. A high gallery at the back of the church opposite the pulpit was removed and ample space was gained for a pipe organ and choir loft.  A vestibule the width of the church was added at this time.  In 1905 the church received running water.  The Chapman Company provided labor and materials.  The church paid $10.35 for the coal used by the drilling machine.  Electric lights were installed in 1909. 

During the pastorate of Rev. James W. Fulton (1911-1914) a furnace was installed in the church.  In 1923 a hardwood floor was installed in the church auditorium.  In 1925 the Ladies bought new electric light fixtures for the sanctuary and the vestry.  In 1935, the steeple was found to be leaning badly and had become unsafe.  While the necessary repairs were being made, the congregation met at Spoonwood Hall.   Thanks to the efforts of Gladys VanderKoogh, new lights were bought from the Swedish Pavilion at the World’s Fair in New York. Edgerton  DaCosta made a gold cross and candlesticks which he presented to the church. 

In February 1950 it was recommended among other things that an addition of two stories should be added to the back of the church. The addition would include a fire proof furnace room, a pastor’s study, a choir room and additional kitchen space.  All of this space could be used for classrooms as well."