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6/14/2011 8:21:00 AM
Removing and repairing a piece of Oregon Catholic history
Catholic Sentinel photo by Gerry Lewin
Mount Angel residents showed up in the early morning hours on Thursday waiting patiently for the steeple of St. Mary Church to be lifted for repairs.
Catholic Sentinel photo by Gerry Lewin
Mount Angel residents showed up in the early morning hours on Thursday waiting patiently for the steeple of St. Mary Church to be lifted for repairs.
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Catholic Sentinel photo by Gerry Lewin
Mount Angel residents showed up in the early morning hours on Thursday waiting patiently for the steeple of St. Mary Church to be lifted for repairs.

MOUNT ANGEL —  The towering presence of St. Mary Church’s giant steeple will be missed by locals here for a number of weeks. Schommer and Sons Construction crews removed the steeple with a crane last week to repair a leak that led to water damage in the choir loft underneath.

Workers inside the 60-foot-tall structure used chainsaws to cut the support beams and then a crane pulled it right off the top of the church.

Thanks to the crane, crews can fix the steeple on the ground instead of 200 feet in the air. Crews will reattach the steeple when the work is finished.

The parish dates back to 1881 and the current church was built in 1910 for around $80,000. The steeple project will cost between $400,000 and $500,000, say church officials.



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