BUTLER CENTER, NY
Wayne County's oldest Methodist Episcopal Church building, situated in Butler Center, with the Butler Center Cemetery directly behind it, has recently been purchased by the Town of Butler. Because of its historic significance, it has been placed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places.
The newly-formed Butler Center Church Restoration Committee met on November 24th, 2001 with the contractor who will begin emergency measures to prepare the church for the Winter. He will follow the criteria for historical integrity recommended by the firm of Crawford and Stearns of Syracuse. The building is structurally sound, but needs remedial work on the bell tower, repair of the deterioration of the south wall, trussing and tarping of the back kitchen area that collapsed last Winter, new wiring, new heating system, sanding of floors and doors; as well as pews cleaned and refinished. The following projects have already been completed: spraying for the extensive powder post beetle infestation, new roof installed, replacement of broken windows, and removal of the large bushes from in front of the church.
The Butler Center Methodist Episcopal church was built in 1836. It was constructed of trees cut on site and milled at the local Vieles sawmill. The original construction was of the popular Greek Revival style. In the 1860s, some Italianate style detailing was added. The church was used for regular services until 1968. After that, it was used for two services a year until the 1980s, and since that time has remained vacant. The paneled lectern of the pulpit area is the original from 1836, and many of the early design features of the interior are still intact.
Future plans for use of the church may include: family reunions, historical displays, school visits, weddings, and a Town of Butler Christmas Tea. Any and all donations would be most appreciated and should be made out to the Town of Butler, marked as a donation to the Butler Center Church, and sent to: Town Clerk, Butler Town Hall, 4576 Butler Center Rd., Wolcott, NY 14590.
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