July 17, 1883

In 1883, the Siasconset Union Chapel was opened. The former fishing village of Siasconset (or ‘Sconset, as the locals say) had become one of the country’s first summer resorts by the middle of the nineteenth century. As it grew, residents there began to hold religious services in the schoolhouse and a hotel and in 1882 decided to build a chapel.

In 1882, chapel founders selected a lot in the heart of the village on New Street and decided to build a chapel in the Gothic Revival style. The land was consecrated at a moonlit evening ceremony with an organ brought from the schoolhouse to the property and “a lantern held by a friendly hand.”

Over the years, chapel leaders made small changes and repairs to the tidy structure and in 1942 added four buttresses to its outer walls. In 1992, the chapel purchased an adjoining lot for a columbarium and meditation garden.

The chapel is only open in the summer and today hosts both Protestant and Roman Catholic services each Sunday. It is also a very popular spot for weddings. Records show that the Siasconset Chapel has also been home to a black congregation and Christian Scientists.

Excerpted from On This Day In Nantucket History
By Amy Jenness
The History Press
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The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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