St. John’s Church – 18 Chaple St
St. John’s Methodist Church, now St. John’s Senior Housing, was built in 1875 for $40,000. Methodism is the 3rd oldest religious denomination in Dover (after the Congregationalists and the Quakers), beginning in 1819 at the old courthouse on Tuttle Square. The congregation grew quickly and in 1825, on land purchased from the Waldron family (many of whom are buried in the family cemetery at the back of the property), a small 2-story wooden church was built here.
By mid-century, a parsonage, a vestry, and two chapel wings had been added as Methodism had a broad and popular appeal among the workingmen and women who labored nearby in the Cochecho mills. The small church was razed and this large brick edifice replaced it. The church seated 1,000 parishioners and housed new 8,000-pound chimes in its bell tower. The church was used until 1970 when a new St. John’s United Methodist Church opened on Cataract Avenue. In 1982, the building was converted into apartments for the elderly and is presently owned and managed by the Dover Housing Authority.
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