Church to preserve its ageless steeple

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
There will soon be a couple of cranes attending to what is thought to be the highest point in Greencastle. The Evangelical Lutheran Church steeple on North Washington Street is in need of some repair.

The steeple of Evangelical Lutheran Church was to be the focus of attention this week. Parts will be replaced or repaired, depending on the analysis of crews from Leeland’s Slate Roofing. Weather complications to the east moved the work from Wednesday, Nov. 7 to the next week on Nov. 14.

“We did get 125 years out of it,” said Pastor Martin Horn.

Last spring a piece of wood fell from the sky, and congregation members were not sure where it came from. The borough hall office across the street reported it came off of the 40-foot steeple.

The church took pictures, and realized there were problems with the slate tower and wood moulding spike. Professionals were brought in to make it good as new. The $15,000 project involved renting two cranes.

“The biggest complication is that Leeland had to contract out for the cranes. Our steeple is higher than most,” Horn said.

It caused him to admire the original construction crew, who scaled the heights and worked with materials 140 feet above ground level. The steeple is believed to be the highest point in Greencastle.

That end of the church at 130 N. Washington St. was built about 1885. Leeland should be back within a couple weeks with the new top piece. The company will then advise on immediate and future work needs for the historic steeple. Horn said if the congregation opted to reshingle the entire piece and replace the dormers, the price could skyrocket to $150,000.