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Lakeside Heritage Trail
13. Methodist Episcopal Chapel
238 Maple Avenue
Ladies Aid Society Hall circa 1930
Heritage Hall Museum 2022
In 1875, The Danbury Township Methodist Episcopal congregation chose to move from their previous location on Route 163 and build a chapel within the grounds of Lakeside. The congregation was motivated by a desire to become part of the growing Lakeside community. The Lakeside Company, which was promoting construction of cottages and businesses, offered the church an opportunity to grow their church in the heart of the new resort. The Methodist Episcopal congregation sold the Route 163 chapel for $300, and applied the money toward the new wood-framed chapel in Lakeside, which was completed in January of 1876 at a cost of $925.
With more people choosing to make Lakeside a permanent year-round residence, the congregation quickly outgrew the small building. A 12’ extension was added circa 1892 on the west end of the chapel. The Methodist congregation continued to grow beyond what the Lakeside Chapel could accommodate, and the decision was made to purchase the Good Templar’s building at the corner of Central Ave. and 5th St. (where the Lakeside United Methodist Church stands today).
The Lakeside Chapel then was transformed into the Ladies Aid Society Hall (L.A.S. Hall) in 1900, where it was home to church dinners, Sunday School classes, clubs and other programs. The chapel was sold to the Lakeside Association in 1952 and renamed Fellowship Hall, a place for mixed-use activities throughout Lakeside’s summer season.
By 1968, the 93-year-old building had deteriorated significantly. Spurred by the possibility of the chapel’s razing, a group of community members formed the Lakeside Heritage Club to purchase the historic building from the Lakeside Association with the understanding that it would come a museum.
The building’s current bell tower was installed in 2012, as a replica of the original bell tower that was a part of the old chapel from 1875 to 1900. This replaced another “designed-from-scratch” tower installed in 1969 by the Lakeside Heritage Club. Photographs of the original chapel were used to construct a bell tower more accurate to the time period of its original construction.
The Lakeside Chapel continues to be operated by the Lakeside Heritage Society, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve, promote and advance the history of Lakeside, the Marblehead Peninsula and the Chautauqua Movement in America. The building is home to the Heritage Hall Museum, where visitors can enjoy a variety of local history exhibits and treasure hunts.