Village of Ovid / First Congregational Church
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 his home by the Maple River, which passes through 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
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 Street, 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.