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April 23, 1991 - The Daily Gleaner

Magaguadavic Church Steeple Toppled By High Winds


MAGAGUADAVIC - A landmark perched high on a hill in Magaguadavic standing watch over rolling farmland and beautiful Magaguadavic Lake was damaged on the weekend.

After a night of terrific high winds Sunday, Magaguadavic residents awoke to find All Saints' Anglican Church without its steeple.

John Sims, whose property is adjacent to the church, awoke to the destruction at 6 a.m.

"I can't see too well early in the morning; it was sure a shock to me. I called to my wife, 'Come here, Judy, the church is gone.' It just looked like a pile of snow," said Mr. Sims.

Altered appearance

With the steeple gone, the 70-year-old structure's looks are visibly changed. The steeple was a prominent landmark in the countryside -- a significant, historic monument overlooking the settlement.

All Saints Church was built in 1920, opened in 1921 to replace the original church built in 1869 on land owned by John Gartley. The new, larger church was needed because of the growth of the congregation and was built on the same site; a lot of the hand-hewn timber from the original church was used -- some of this is evident inside the steeple now in shambles at the vestibule of the church just missing several very old tombstones in the graveyard dated 1889, 1897 and 1920 of the William Hood family.

"No, we did not hear it go down. Our house is well-insulated with 12-inch walls so not much noise passes through," said Judy Sims.

It is thought that the wind must have lifted the steeple off, dropping it to the ground, rather than for it to have toppled, as no damage was done to the entry way. Even the lights still work.

The church opens for services at Easter until the first of December.

"We had church here just yesterday morning. It sure is a good thing it didn't happen then," said Joe Fletcher, parish treasurer.

Parish Priest Father Elmer Smith, Senior Warden Alton MacMillin as well as insurance adjusters are reviewing the extent of damage.