The first time I saw the Union Mission Chapel was when I was traveling from our home in Norwell to the Scituate Light House to perform a marriage ceremony.
I could not believe my eyes, here on a back road was a pristine little white chapel set back among tall pine frozen in a different time period. To me the Chapel was one that might be found in a quaint village of Connecticut or Vermont.
Along the rock walls there were Hosta plants, the yard was neat and well taken care of but the antique front black doors and trim around the windows had begun to peel.
I turned into the circular drive, got out of my car to look at the encased bulletin board that told me the name of the minister, the organist and the time of Sunday worship service.
Just as I was getting in my car an older woman drove up and hopped out of the car with the energy of a woman half her age.
Mrs. Laidlaw introduced herself as President of the Chapel and Historian of Scituate. True to her calling Mrs. Laidlaw invited me inside and began to share the story of how, when and who built this hidden gem.
I didn’t have much time but decided I could spare a couple of minutes. A tiny vestibule opened into something I never imagined. Dark mahogany ship lap under windows, Mrs. Laidlaw bragged, held most of the original wavey glass. There were wide pine floors, wooden deacon benches perfectly lined up and antique oil lamps that hung with reflectors along the outer sides. It was charming.
Quickly we went into the kitchen where there were bead board cabinets, a huge soap stone sink, stove and two doors. One the lead out to the side yard and the other Mrs. Laidlaw opened proudly. “It works,” she said. Attached to the back side of the chapel is a tiny outhouse (since updated), painted green and cleaner than my own bathroom.
I apologized to Mrs. Laidlaw, I had to make haste, a couple was waiting at the Lighthouse to be married. After I performed the private ceremony on the jetty, bid the couple good luck and farewell I saw Mrs. Laidlaw who had been listening.
Another history lesson followed, but this time on the Scituate Light House. With animation I will never forget, Mrs. Laidlaw told me of the “Army of Two” little girls, Rebecca and Abigail Bates, who saved the town from the British armed with nothing but a fife and drum.
“Follow me,” I was instructed, she knocked on the door of the little house attached to the lighthouse. Into the house and up the stairs we went, as fast as I could in my high heels, right to the top of the lighthouse. It was amazing and something I never will experience again.
That day changed my life.
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Services every Sunday at 7:00 PM