2018-09-13 / Community

Steeple removed from Harbor Beach church

By John Bonke
Staff Writer • jbonke@mihomepaper.com

Photo by John Bonke Photo by John Bonke HARBOR BEACH - The steeple of the United Methodist Church in Harbor Beach was removed Monday, Sept. 10. A crew worked in a light to moderate drizzle for almost three hours to remove the steeple, located at the corner of 1st and Trescott.

The church’s pastor, Rev. Sari Brown, told the Huron County VIEW it was due to structural issues and it posed a potential risk, and recent storms seemed to make it lean. The congregation’s funds allowed for its removal and to re-roof the area, but not re-build a steeple, she added.

A bell, which was housed in the steeple, made in the late 1800s and weighing about 1,200 pounds, is being temporarily stored at a member’s home until it can be either displayed or re-used.

Emanuel Mullet, of Cass Citybased Mullet Construction, supervised the construction crew, three of whom were in a basket at the end of a boom working to make holes in the steeple, so lines from a crane could be attached to lift it, and others who worked inside the church and steeple.

Mullet said the work that day would bring down the steeple structure in three phases, one for each part.

The weather vane atop the topmost section of the structure pointed to the East during the removal. Once the vane was on the ground, Mullet commented it looked to be custom-made, fashioned from a buggy axle and a saw blade. He and a few of the six to a dozen curious onlookers also noted it also used a garbage can lid where it sat atop the steeple.

During the removal process, the onlookers lined the sidewalk across the street taking photographs or took shelter from the elements in their vehicles.

A cornerstone on the church reads BUILT 1879, REBUILT 1918. It is the home of the Harbor Beach and Port Hope Ministerial Association Food Pantry, open 1st and 3rd Tuesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. and 2nd and 4th Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The church hosts a Soup Supper the 1st Tuesday of the month at 4 p.m., open to all.

The church hosts Sunday Worship Service, Sundays at 9:15 a.m.

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