A grant funded the restoration of the historic steeple atop St. Francis By the Sea Episcopal Church in Blue Hill. PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHN PAUL LALONDE

St. Francis steeple restored

BLUE HILL — The historic steeple of St. Francis By the Sea Episcopal Church has been restored thanks to a grant from The Maine Steeples Fund.

The Maine Steeples Fund supports local efforts to restore church steeples of historic, cultural and community significance to cities and towns in Maine. St. Francis met these criteria, as it originally was built in North Penobscot (1837) and then was moved to its current prominent location on the Hinkley Ridge Road in Blue Hill (1990).

During the painting of the church in 2020, it was detected that the steeple was leaning slightly. After working with The Maine Steeple Fund over the last year, it was determined that restoration work would include the replacement of three rotting beams, the belfry and three roofs, flashing corner posts, along with other work uncovered during the project. Robert A. Baird and Associates of Brooklin was selected as the contractor. Baird has undertaken many projects throughout the area, including the restoration of Odd Fellows Hall in Brooklin, The Sedgwick Baptist Church and the Rockbound Church in Brooklin. He also was involved in the restoration of the U.S. Capitol Dome in Washington, D.C.

The two-month project at St. Francis Church was completed in early November and the newly restored steeple continues to be a prominent fixture of Hinckley Ridge.

For more information on the steeple restoration or on the Maine Steeple Fund, contact John Paul LaLonde by calling the church at 374-5200 or visit mainesteeplefund.org.

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