Vermontville Chapel and Academy

Also known as: The Academy
N. Main St., Vermontville, Michigan


Oblique view from southeast quadrant.

Photo taken by Nathan Holth in July 2010



Street View 

Information About This Historic Site 

From Michigan Historic Sites Online

Other Names First Congregational Chapel
Vermontville Academy
Property Type church
Historic Use EDUCATION
Style Greek Revival

Narrative Description
The Vermontville Chapel and Academy is a rectangular, two-story front-gable frame Greek Revival building covered in clapboard siding and stands on a low, rubble foundation. The chapel measures approximately forty-feet long by thirty-feet wide and has undergone only minor alterations. Originally, a small belfry or cupola measuring approximately eight feet square rose above the front gable east end but has been removed.

Statement of Significance
The Chapel and Academy is significant as a tangible reminder of the people that migrated to the area and is the oldest surviving structure in Vermontville. The area was settled in 1836 by a religious colony of Congregationalists from East Poultney, Vermont, who planned to model their community after that of the Pilgrims. Begun in 1843, the building was designed to house an academy upstairs and a chapel for church services downstairs. The upper story was finished in 1844 and the lower story in 1858. The building was left vacant in 1869 when a schoolhouse replaced it. A general store moved into the upper level, while the lower level continued to be used for civic functions until the Vermontville Historical Society organized in 1965, and converted the chapel into a local history museum.

Marker Name
Vermontville Academy

Marker Text
VERMONTVILLE ACADEMY In 1836 a group from Vermont known as the Union Colony settled here. The members were determined that their children should receive a good education. The Vermontville Academical Association was formed, constructed this building, and opened it for classes in the winter of 1844-1845. Vermontville was advertised as an ideal location for an academy, since there was little to distract the students from their work. Because most of the colony were Congregationalists, their minister also served as the academy teacher. Religious services were held here until 1864 when the church across the street was completed. Town meetings were held in the academy, and in 1853 Vermontville's first general store opened on the ground floor.

Period of Significance 1826-1865
Significant Date(s) 1844, 1858
Registry Type(s) 05/06/1970 Marker erected
08/07/1972 National Register listed
06/27/1969 State Register listed
Site ID# P22998

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on August 7, 1972
Reference number
Areas of significance
Education; Architecture; Religion
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic functions
Religious structure; School
Current function
Periods of significance
1850-1874; 1825-1849
Significant years
1844; 1858


19th Century (37,868)
Brick (42,462)
Built 1844 (183)
Built during 1840s (3,004)
Church (5,713)
Eaton County, Michigan (20)
Have Street View (46,654)
Michigan (1,955)
Moved (2,194)
Place of worship (6,080)
Private owner (54,398)
Stone (26,160)
Vermontville, Michigan (3)

Update Log 

  • July 11, 2010: Essay added by Nathan Holth
  • July 11, 2010: New photos from Nathan Holth
  • July 9, 2010: New Street View added by Nathan Holth