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Pine Grove Community Church Preservation Society hosting ice cream social today

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WATSON — The Pine Grove Community Church Preservation Society will celebrate 13 years with an annual meeting, open house and ice cream social at 2 p.m. today at the church, at Pine Grove and Austin roads in the hamlet of Pine Grove, town of Watson.

The original members of the former Union Church built in 1896 were Methodists, Presbyterians and Baptists. The church’s construction was completed by local carpenter Lucian Rumble, with shop work by Frank Tisse. Instead of pews, the church has straight-backed chairs drilled into the slanted floor that rises from the altar to a loft in the back. Below the loft, a corridor separates the sloping floor, leading guests to the altar space.

Above, a barrel-vaulted ceiling merges seamlessly with the walls. The church is believed to be one of only two like it in the world, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The society formed to preserve and maintain the church as non-denominational for the public and to promote interest in the building’s architecture.

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