Friday, September 23, 2011

Touchdown (but not Football)

We don’t want to say that nothing really exciting happens in our little town of 500 folks.

But, it usually doesn’t – really.

So, this Tuesday after returning from our recent road trip  and heading to the post office and grocery store,  here’s what we saw – a crane lifting a steeple . . .


Of course, we had to stop and watch this operation. Some of you may know we don’t have any cable/dish service – no TV watching, so anytime, there’s a live show, it’s for us!

Here’s the story – the Onley Baptist Church on W. Main St. was taking down what was left of its steeple. The topmost part of the steeple was removed a couple of weeks ago, but we missed that event cause we were  on a road trip.

The smoke you see in this photo was from the gas-poweredP1050199 chain saw, which was having a tough time cutting through the wood and the siding. Grenville thought it would have made more sense to take off the siding first, but then you have to live here to know why he would think that. And, yes that was a little large bit of sarcasm on our part. The guys working up there had to stop every few minutes to let the saw cool down – does that tell you anything?

According to the church pastor (he’s standing on the crane truck in the large photo above) the steeple was deteriorating due to age and water damage. It’s being replaced with a fiberglass one which won’t need replacement. But then this original one did last since the 1920s (estimate from the pastor). But, as most of us know, things aren’t built like they used to be (lots more sarcasm).


Once the corners were cut free, the takedown began.


Soon the steeple was travelling up and over the church before touching down on the front lawn.


Next down was the church bell, which was also being removed as part of the renovations. It will be put back in the new steeple.


The men who completed this operation were church members.  As you can see, they were not camera-shy.


While it was heavily overcast and the light was going quickly, it didn’t rain throughout this nearly hour-long process.


Touchdown - for both.

The bell was loaded on a flatbed truck and removed for renovation before it’s put in the new steeple. We asked the pastor when the new steeple is expected – it would be more free entertainment, but he didn’t have a firm date. We’re leaving on another road trip Oct 3 (details soon) and will probably miss this event.


These photos were taken with a Panasonic 6X zoom digital camera that’s kept in a backpack in my car. As fellow blogger Sandra (MadSnapper) so often advises, it’s always good to carry a camera along, even if it’s just a small one.

You never know what you might see right in your own backyard or town – and wished you had a camera handy.


Country Gal said...

Awesome photos. We are the same here in our village lol not much goes on but when there is something going on everyone stops to watch. Our village has about 600 folk in it but spread out large properties . Good advice about always having a camera with you even if it isnt your usual one ! Have a wonderful day !

Anonymous said...

Interesting! But will a fiber glass one really hold the weight when they try the bell next time? :-)

Have a great day!

Montanagirl said...

It's a nice looking church. One of our churches in town has its steeple setting out in front of it on the lawn, where it will reside the rest of its life I presume.

Mama-Bug said...

Thanks for sharing that little town event with us. I like stuff like that!

Don't unplug your hub said...

I enjoyed watching that. I would definitely have stopped if I had been passing.
I was amazed to discover recently that the chimney stacks and pots on some new build houses over here are made of fibreglass and are purely for show. The houses don't even have fireplaces. Funny old world!

Anvilcloud said...

Well, that was fun. I am doing better at carrying my camera around, but it's a beast, so I sometimes choose not to.

Daisy said...

Looks like that was quite a project! You were lucky to be there at just the right time to get pictures. Have a nice weekend! :)

Anonymous said...

A church without its steeple is like an old woman with a bra or an old man in a speedo. Something just doesn't look right.

Looking forward to seeing the result.

Since you posted about it, I should tell you that the Gordon Methodist Church and the history of it is something else. It has been moved, torn down, replaced, moved again, enlarged, steeple on and off and the outside covered in wood siding and later in stucco.

I am also reviving the blog and just doing stuff like that. The history of this or that. I think it makes more sense to do stuff like that then to just plant a picture...

Susie Swanson said...

I love to look at things like this.. Thanks so much..Susie

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Hi Elaine (Country Gal)surprisingly not many folks stopped to watch. Maybe because it was around 6:30 in the eve and a dreary one at that. You have us beat in pop. by 100!

Good point, Christer, but I suppose they figured out that the fiberglass one could support the bell. When it's up, I'll shoot some new photos.

Mona, the pastor told us the old steeple would be demolished.

Christine (Mama-Bug) we like this sort of stuff too as you can see!

AC, I no longer own a digital SLR after hacing several. Strictly all in one zooms now and all canon. Handiest little one I recently bought is a digital Canon Elph, small and easy to always carry along.

Daisy, we were just passing by at the right time or might have missed the show. Enjoy your weekend too.

Abe, I enjoyed that analogy. And also agree with your comment about including a history or story with photos. I don't know much about this church or its history so it wasn't included here.

Thanks, Susie for the comment and visit today.

Pat transplanted to MN said...

I have never heard of such an operation and would have stopped to observe as well. Besides as you say, free for the watching. Here in our town of 5000 (bigger slightly but small enough) they tore down the old Methodist Church which had become a flower shop many years back when the Methodists (some of Jerry's family included) built the new one. We have photos of the old landmark. Many in town like ourselves were astonished because we had no idea it was to be torn down. The local historical society was dismayed. We had been in PA and just returned. Even the local newspaper (weekly) was caught unawares, the photo of the demolition was taken by the librarian across the street. You really did get intersting photos which coupled with your narrative, make an interesting post. I insisted that I must have my pocket sized handy Nikon camera over a year ago and yet I seldom take it along with me when home. That's always when I notice something I'd like to photo, I must improve on that.

possum said...

Great timing! Lucky you! and, as usual, great shots.

Sandra said...

and i am glad you had that camera, this is fun and amazing. i do hope they covered the hole that was left. and phooey, i wanted to see them put the new one up. but you can get a shot of the finished product to show us.

L. D. Burgus said...

Yep, better than watching cable.
I need to replace my small carry around camera.Great captures.

Elaine said...

Sad that they couldn't refurbish that old steeple that had been there so many years, but I suppose it would have been a lot more expensive than the replacement.

I have a Canon Elph too that I always take with me. It takes great photos but it's several years old and I'm thinking of updating to the newest model.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Thanks Possum, just was in the right spot AND at the right time.

Sandra, glad I followed your sage advice to ALWAYS have a camera, though I nearly didn't but this was was already in the backpack in my car. Good think we didn't take Grenville's car cause there's no camera there. Not sure when the new steeple will go up. It might be while we're away but I will take pics when we get home if it's already there.

Elaine, the pastor told us the old steeple had rotting wood and water damage and the new fiberglass one will have less issues over the years, but the wooden ones did look wonderful. The Canon Elph I now have is my first and it was bought new on ebay a couple of months ago for a little over $100. Seems there are lots of models out now so good luck with the search.

Lynette said...

So glad you happened by in time to take these photos and gather the facts you've included in the text, along with your personal observations.

I hardly ever leave the apartment without my camera, not that I can always get it out of my backpack in time to get some of the photos that got away.

About Milton and Kay, they actually live in Mississippi. They were visiting from mid to late August. That's why we were so out and about--I took vacation and we had a blast.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

T%hanks Lynette, I too have a camera in a backpack in my car which is how I got to take these photos. I also am trying to remember to carry the small Canon Elph I recently bought with me, but had left it home. We were going grocery shopping and I swapped it for the checkbook! But as luck would have it we took my car which had the camera in it. Sometimes things just work out right!

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