Originally published in The Weekly Packet, November 11, 2021
St. Francis by the Sea steeple restoration complete
The restoration of the historic steeple at St. Francis by the Sea Episcopal Church in Blue Hill is complete, thanks to a generous grant from the Maine Steeples Fund, which supports local efforts to restore church steeples of historic, cultural and community significance to cities and towns in Maine, according to a press release. The church met these criteria, as it was originally built in 1837 in North Penobscot, before moving in 1990 to its current location on the Hinckley Ridge Road in Blue Hill.
During the painting of the church in 2020, it was discovered that the steeple was leaning slightly. After working with the Maine Steeples Fund over the last year, a plan for the restoration work was determined that included the replacement of three rotting beams, the belfry and level three roofs and flashing corner posts, along with other work uncovered during the project.
Robert A. Baird and Associates, of Brooklin, was selected as the contractor. Robert Baird has undertaken many projects in the area, including the restoration of Odd Fellows Hall and Rockbound Church in Brooklin and the Sedgwick Baptist Church. He was also involved in the restoration of the U.S. Capital Dome in Washington, D.C.
The two-month steeple project was completed in early November, and the steeple is in great shape to continue being a prominent fixture of Hinckley Ridge, according to the release.
For more information about the project, call John Paul LaLonde at 374-5200. For information about the Maine Steeple Fund, visit mainesteeplefund.org.