Retiring the Debt

In 1906, the little building that had housed the Milton Methodist Protestant congregation since 1857 received a major makeover. Workmen extended the rear (west) wall of the building 12 feet to create an apse for the chancel, and the the stained glass windows that were delivered in 1901 were finally installed. Interior improvements and a new bell tower were part of the makeover. The other highly visible interior feature – the stamped metal ceiling and walls – would be deferred until 1919. Incremental improvements,  such as electric lighting in 1907, would follow; but the shape of the church and its outward appearance were essentially set in 1906.

What is interesting about this program of major renovations is that all of the debt associated with it was retired by 1909. The congregation raised the funds through special collection drives, and a mortgage-burning ceremony was held in the church on January 24, 1909. When you consider that the Milton M. P. Church congregation consisted of small merchants, tradesmen and working class families, this fiscal achievement is all the more impressive.

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