BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Nothing says Boardman like the St. James Meeting House. The old church sits in the front of Boardman Park, a perfect spot for everyone driving along Route 224 to see.
This week, the meeting house was spruced up. Dartanyen Helton of Dennison Painting did the work on the 192-year-old structure. It’s Boardman’s oldest public building.
“You can tell by looking at it, the inside, it’s pretty historical and antique looking. It’s pretty cool,” Helton said.
Dan Slagle has been executive director of Boardman Park for 48 years. He says the meeting house is “touched up” with paint every three to four years.
“Right now, it’s in really good shape,” Slagle said. “It’s a lot less expensive to touch it up as you go than wait and have to do a major overhaul of the exterior.”
The meeting house started as an Episcopal Church and sat for 144 years on Market Street, near where Jared Jewelers now stands. When the Southern Park Mall was built, the church was put on a trailer and moved east down Route 224 to its present location in Boardman Park.
“It’s a very popular place. We have about 300 weddings a year at St. James,” Slagle said.
Inside, the meeting house is original from when it was moved. The wood around the altar is thought to be original and the stained glass windows were put in during a renovation in 1881.
On a wall is a painting of St. James. Dan Slagle doesn’t know how many times an artist has rendered it, only that it’s been a lot.
It cost Boardman Park about $9,000 a year to maintain the meeting house, which brings in about $7,000 for a net loss of about $2,000.
“Regardless of how we use it, it’s paramount that it is preserved and done correctly because of the value, historically, that it has for the community,” Slagle said.
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