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Ware Center Meeting House

The Ware Center Meeting House is the oldest church in Ware.

Built in 1799 as the First Congregational Church, it also served as the center of town government and the place where town meetings were held.

The belfry features a bell cast in 1859 by the G.H. Holbrook Bell Foundry. Holbrook was an apprentice of Paul Revere.

Also on this site are a historic burial ground and a replica of the building’s original carriage shed, made with wood recovered during repairs to the historic Ware-Hardwick covered bridge.

Over time, Ware’s population shifted from agriculture towards industrialization. Activity centered around the mills situated on the Ware River in the eastern part of town and housing, stores and new churches were built to accommodate mill workers. When Ware’s first town hall was built in 1847, it was located near the mills.  By the 1980s, the Ware Center Meeting House was rarely used.

On April 14, 1986, a fire  caused significant damage to this historic building. Restoration efforts continue to this day. The building is owned by the Proprietors of the Ware Center Meeting House. It’s home to the Ware Historical Society, which operates a museum on the first floor. During Ware’s 250th Anniversary Celebration in 2011, a time capsule was buried on the site.