Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Last week we completed rebuilding the belfry tower of St. Paul's Episcopal Church. Built in 1865, this is the oldest church in Port Townsend and the oldest Episcopal church in Washington State.
The bell was given to the church by a ship's captain in 1870. His ship was in dense fog near town, and when the captain heard the sound of the hand rung Sunday school bell he was able to determine his distance to shore and save his ship from grounding. His wish was that in addition to summoning the worshipers to Sunday services the bell would be rung when fog obscured the shore. This bell was Port Townsend's first navigational marker and still rings to announce religious services.
Our job was to repair or replace badly weathered trim and siding on the belfry tower, repair the small rose window, re-hang the original bell with a more secure mount structure and install a new copper roof pan inside the belfry. We duplicated the original details with better materials, sealants and flashing details than the original work.
Port Townsend, Washington