Old Stone Church
The Old Stone Church, built in 1891 to replace the Baptist Church that burned, is an historic building in West Boylston, Massachusetts. On April 13, 1973, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
In the 19th century, the Quinapoxet River joined the Stillwater River to become the southern branch of the Nashua River in the town of West Boylston. Just to the east of the confluence of these rivers was constructed a magnificent stone church.
From 1896 through 1905 West Boylston endured the building of the Wachusett Reservoir and the destruction of its mills and farms. When the Wachusett Reservoir was completed, this impressive Old Stone Church remained standing as the last remnant of the town which was once in the valley, but was now flooded by the new reservoir.
The predecessor of the Old Stone Church was the second house of worship for the Baptist Society in West Boylston, dedicated on December 6, 1832.
The church and its neighboring church, Saint Anthony's Roman Catholic Church, were destroyed by a fire on May 2, 1890.
The present Old Stone Church was built on the same site and was scheduled for dedication on March 17, 1892, but a fire again badly damaged the interior of the church and the dedication was postponed until May 19, 1892.
In June 1897, the Metropolitan Water Board awarded the Baptist Society $22,500 for the loss of the church for the construction of the reservoir. The last Baptist service was held in April 1902.
On April 13, 1973, the Old Stone Church was declared a National Landmark.
On June 27, 1974, the State awarded $87,000 for rein
orcing the roof and walls of the church building. The following month, the church roof and three walls collapsed requiring rebuilding which was completed in the Spring of 1977.
On September 25, 1983, on the occasion of the year of the 175th Anniversary of the Incorporation of the Town of West Boylston, the Rededication of the Old Stone Church was held.
The Quinapoxet River is part of the Nashua River watershed in northern Massachusetts in the United States. It is part of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority water system supplying drinking water to the greater Boston area.
The uppermost tributaries of the Quinapoxet River rise in the town of Princeton, Massachusetts, the watershed generally known as the Upper Worcester Plateau, or the Monadnock Upland. This watershed tops at Wachusett Mountain, the highest feature in the area. Water flowing east from this high ground feeds the Nashua River watershed, and water flowing west feeds the Ware River or the Millers River watersheds, heading to the Connecticut River.
The Quinapoxet Dam in Holden impounds 1,100.0 million US gallons in the Quinapoxet Reservoir, a Worcester drinking water supply. Below the dam, the Quinapoxet River flows 7.9 miles (12.7 km) east to the Wachusett Reservoir, joining the Stillwater River (to become the south branch of the Nashua River) in the Oakdale section of West Boylston. The city of Worcester can divert up to 36% of the Quinapoxet River water. The Quinapoxet Dam is an earthen dam with a concrete spillway. The outflow is not adjustable, so the reservoir only supplies excess water to the Quinapoxet River.