Local Historical Sites
In South Bristol today there are several sites that give a glimpse into the early history of the Town. The oldest, the Walpole Meetinghouse, was built between 1772 and 1774, and dates back to pre-revolutionary times.
These historic sites are situated along the length of the peninsula, starting with the Walpole Meetinghouse at the Northern end, and ending with the South Bristol Union Church, built in 1897, at the Southern end on Rutherford Island.
Union Chapel Walpole
Walpole's non-denominal Union Chapel was built in 1886. It took several years to complete the interior of the building. An abandoned train locomotive was source of the chapel's tower bell.
Dubbed Centennial Hall when constructed in 1876, this building originally housed a general store, post office and community hall. Since then it has served as a school, and as the South Bristol Town Hall. It currently serves as a firehouse for the town.
South Bristol Union Church
Built in 1897 on the highest point of South Bristol's Rutherford Island, the Union Church was a grass-roots effort intended both as a place of worship and a community center.
The S Road school was originally built in 1860 and served as a one-room schoolhouse for eighty three years until its closure in 1943. The smokehouse, which was moved to the school site from it's original site on the north side of the South Bristol Gut, still functions today as it did in the early 20th century. The S Road School is open to the public on Saturdays, 1pm - 4pm, July & August.
Thompson Ice House
The 1826 Thompson Ice House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, attests to the importance of ice harvesting in South Bristol in the 19th and early 20th century. The ice house and the adjoining ice pond are now a museum showcasing tools of the trade. A participatory ice harvest takes place there annually.
Old Walpole Meetinghouse
This historic meetinghouse at the head of the South Bristol Peninsula stands today in its original 1772 form, appearing virtually as it did to our forbears. It is listed in the National Registry of Historic Places