Stone Church // 1832

Erected in 1832, the iconic Stone Church building in Newmarket, NH, first served as a Universalist Meeting House before shifting to Unitarian twenty years later. In 1865, it was sold to the Roman Catholic Church, thus establishing the first Catholic Church in Newmarket, NH. In 1890, the congregation moved down to Main Street into a new church next to the town hall, and the Catholics then used the Stone Church as a school for teaching French to children, likely due to the influx of French-Canadian immigrants working at the mills in town at the time. After use as a church, the building was used as a roller-skating rink, playhouse, and VFW hall. In the 1950s, The Newmarket Heel Factory inhabited the building, a shoe manufacturing company. In 1968 the building was ravaged by a fire, and according to legend, the firefighters were reluctant to break the historic windows of the church to vent the fire. In 1970, the building was sold to two UNH students and another, who planned to open a coffee house, but quickly realized they couldn’t sell enough coffee to pay the bills. They decided to sell beer, but weren’t old enough to drink…legally. So one of the boy’s mom’s got the liquor license in her name. Since then, the Stone Church has been one of the most important cultural institutions in the state, providing arts and music space for local musicians and artists to gather and share ideas, over beer. What could be better?!

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