THE SECOND MEETING HOUSE
The Second Meeting House was built in 1842 when the original church burned. The first First Congregational Church was located at the intersection of Main, Maple, and Chestnut streets.
The building was built by a Danbury contractor, Rory Starr who completed the church building for $2750 and dedicated on June 1, 1843 and would serve its congregants until May 11, 1865 when a severe thunderstorm and a severe gale force wind struck the steeple which broke through the roof of the church building. The building was never used as a church again. During its 171 years it was also used as the Town Hall, jail, barber shop, post office, a train stop, a public meeting room. It was until recently the home of the local VFW, Veterans of Foreign Wars and is home now to the Bethel Historical Society.
Deemed too expensive to repair, the building was moved “165 feet west” and around the Old Burying Ground, turned sideways, and lifted up onto a stone first floor.