First Universalist Church
The church that gave North Attleborough's Church Street its name no longer exists. A parking lot now marks the spot where the church (actually two different church buildings) once stood. The first structure was the wooden First Universalist Church which was dedicated on November 3, 1841, at the northerly corner of North Washington and the newly-named Church Street. That building was moved in 1882 to Elm Street by the Wamsutta Hotel Association and was used as a hall. After North Attleborough's separation from Attleborough in 1887, this former church was used for town meetings.
The First Universalist Church erected in 1882 was a more substantial structure made of brick. For decades the clock on the First Universalist Church served as the "downtown timepiece." When the clock stopped working in 1956, the North Attleborough Evening Chronicle led a fundraising drive to repair the clock. $1,800 was raised and the clock was repaired.
By 1981 the dwindling congregation of the church could no longer afford its upkeep. The building was sold to the firm of Armstrong, Pollis, and Clapp, who donated the rose window and other items from the church to the Royal Arts Foundation in Newport, Rhode Island. Once everything of value was removed the building was demolished. The remaining congregation members merged with Attleborough's Murray Universalist Church.
As mentioned, the site that Church Street derived its name from has been a parking lot since 1981. The cornerstone from the church still stands in the back of the parking lot. That cornerstone contained a metal box in which the North Attleborough Historical Commission found some wonderful items placed there by local jewelers back in 1882. These items are now on display at the Fire Barn Museum. There was also an 1881 Attleborough City Directory, which the North Attleborough Historical Commission made a copy of. This book was a real treasure to find in 1981, when the North Attleborough Historical Commission was still young, having been established in 1976.