History Of Channing Chapel
Home of the
Winter Harbor Public Library
owned & maintained by the Channing Chapel Preservation
In 1887 David Flint, a summer resident
Winter Harbor, made the
decision to build a Unitarian chapel on land that he
owned which lay
adjacent to his large cottage on Inner Harbor. Flint
was a Boston
lumber dealer, who, after being widowed, had married
his wife's doctor,
a local woman named Almeda Guptill Baker. Being a
staunch follower of
William Ellery Channing and believing that there was
interest in Unitarianism here, Flint felt that there
was need for a
In the winter of 1887-1888 both
and field stones were
brought to the site of the future chapel by people of
the village since
it was much easier to transport them over the frozen
ground rather than
wait for summer when the chapel was to be built. The
chapel walls were
begun on June 18, 1888, and the building was finished
and ready for
dedication ceremonies on August 28, 1888.
The auditorium window, at the
end of the building, contains a
likeness of William
founder of Unitarianism.
The vestry, which was originally
known as the Channing Free Library,
displays a likeness of David Flint. This window was
installed as a surprise gift to Mr. Flint. The double
desk used by the
librarian was originally used in Flint's lumber office
on long Wharf in
Boston in the middle of the 19th century. A record of
history is pencilled in one of the center drawers.
- August 22, 1888: First service held in
- August 29, 1888: Chapel dedicated. David
established a library of classics in the upper room, known
- 1903: Flint died. His widow, Dr. Almena
Flint, gave the classics to a southern school for poor
purchased new books for the library.
- June 1920: Dr. J. S. Bragg and others
Winter Harbor Library Association and received permission
Unitarian Society to maintain the library in the upper room
chapel for the use of the townspeople.
- 1958: Chapel given to the town of Winter
Harbor by the American Unitarian Association. Town voted to
building and the library was moved to the old high school on
- 1993: Channing Chapel Preservation
formed and building was purchased.
- February 1996: Winter Harbor Library was
returned to Channing Chapel.