First Congregational Church of Ovid, photo submitted 1969
Click above images to enlarge

First Congregational Church of Ovid
222 Main Street, Ovid - Clinton County
Other Names United Church of Ovid
The Belfry
Property Type church
Historic Use RELIGION
Current Use DOMESTIC/single dwelling
Style Gothic Revival
Architect/Builder George Fox
Narrative Description Built in 1872, the First Congregational Church of Ovid is an interesting example of late nineteenth century Gothic Revival church architecture. The original frame structure was 34 feet by 58 feet in plan. The Gothic Revival style is evident in the long, narrow, pointed-arch windows, and in the rose window motif in the west gable. A two-story square tower is topped by an octagonal belfry, and is surmounted by eight pewter colored finials tipped with gold leaf. The building rises to a height of 75 feet, making it the tallest church in the village. Its wonderful belfry and other decorative touches make it one of the most unique and outstanding church structures in Clinton County. The building now serves as a private residence.
Marker Name Village of Ovid / First Congregational Church of Ovid
Marker Text VILLAGE OF OVID In 1836 inhabitants of Ovid, Seneca Falls County, New York, began to settle this fertile farm area. Among them were Samuel Barker, who built his log cabin in "Section 6;" Jabez Denison, noted for his prowess in killing bears; and William Swarthout, who put up his home by the Maple River, which passes through the town. Land given to the Detroit, Grand Haven and Milwaukee Railway determined the location of Ovid's depot. The incorporated village of Ovid dates from 1869, when 227 voters were involved in its first election. Businesses, houses and factories rapidly grew in number. Lumber, general merchandise, cabinets, musical instruments, and carriages were among the wares carrying the Ovid stamp. Main Street became and continued to be a center of activity for village residents and others in the area. In 1980 Ovid claimed 1,712 residents. FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF OVID On February 13, 1871, twenty-two persons began Ovid's First Congregational Church. The next year this structure was erected. George Fox served as master carpenter. Its first minister was the Reverend William Mulder. Originally located at High and Park streets, the church was pulled here by oxen in 1899 and turned to face Main Street. It was enlarged for a growing congregation, which came to be "one of the most powerful social forces in the county." In 1943, Ovid's Congregational and Methodist societies merged, using both their buildings until 1972. In 1979 the church became a private residence. This Ovid landmark, whose octagonal belfry tower holds a melodious 1876 bell, is listed on the Historic American Buildings Survey and the National Register of Historic Places.
Period of Significance 1866-1900
Significant Date(s) 1871, 1872, 1899
Registry Type(s) 05/16/1985 Marker erected
01/13/1972 National Register listed
04/23/1971 State Register listed
Site ID# P22912