: Built in 1814, this was the first meeting house constructed west of the Allegheny Mountains by the small religious denomination known as the Society of Friends, or Quakers. The town of Mount Pleasant, where the meeting house is located, has a long history of Quaker settlement. The Friends here were staunch social reformers and abolitionists, many of whom were active participants in the Underground Railroad.
The meeting house itself acted as a community gathering place and a center of faith not just for the Friends living in Mount Pleasant, but also for Quakers throughout Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. It was a massive structure that could accommodate up to 2000 people. From its inception until 1909, annual, quarterly, and monthly meetings were held here during which religious and business matters were discussed and debated. Men and women gathered separately from one another at meetings. During such occasions a wooden partition could be lowered from the center of the room to create two equally-sized spaces. This photograph displays the view of the Minister’s Gallery that can be seen from the women’s side of the building. In 1950, the structure was deeded to the State of Ohio and was later restored by the Ohio Historical Society and opened to the public. This picture was taken before restoration efforts had begun.
View on Ohio Memory.
: AL08202 Subjects
: Quakers; Society of Friends; Quaker meeting houses Places
: Mount Pleasant (Ohio); Jefferson County (Ohio)