Letters to the Editor

The people’s steeple

On behalf of the Williston Federated Church, I would like to thank the community for its support of our efforts to rebuild the steeple. We have raised $75,000 of our $100,000 goal in private donations.

Construction of the new steeple is coming along at Jay Southgate’s shop near Barre. Monitoring the progress, I have been amazed to see the detail that makes up the appearance of the steeple, which I had not noticed before seeing it up close. For example, I knew that the steeple spire was eight-sided, but I did not notice that four of the sides are smaller than the other four. This has an effect on other details. Near the top, there is a band of detail that is the same height on each side, but different widths. This means that the detail appears as a square on four sides and a diamond on the other four.

I also did not notice that each edge on the steeple is a “bullnose” — a half-rounded piece of wood. Finally, as you look closely around the area of the belfry, there are many small panels. Some of the detail is so small, I do not believe even the best of eyes could see it from the street. The original craftsman cared about the detail and so does Jay and his crew as they work to include it all.

We have a Facebook page “Rebuilding the Steeple” that shows photographs of the detail and the progress.

The current plan is for the steeple to be erected on the grass in front of the church early in July for final assembly — it is too big to be transported in one piece. On the same day, the old steeple will be disassembled. A week or two later, the new steeple will be lifted into place.

We will try to be sure that everyone knows when that is so they can watch if they wish.

Thank you again, and we look forward to seeing you at the Steeple Scoop on the Fourth of July. If you would like to donate, you can do so at

Tony Lamb

Williston Federated Church

Board of Trustees chairman