JONESPORT — A ground-breaking ceremony for the proposed new Jonesport branch of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 18, near Main Street.
Neighboring RLDS congregations from Beals Island, Machias and South Addison are invited to attend the formal dedication of the project. Oscar Hall, president of the Jonesport branch, will preside at the event.
Hall said Thursday that the building committee has estimated the new house of worship and education would be completed sometime in December. Members of the committee include Chairman John Church, Michael Church, Oscar Hall, Helen Hall, Adelmar Urquhart, Chester Gray, Charles Lakeman and Brenda Dodge.
The committee met Wednesday night and agreed to hold the public ground-breaking on the site of the 92-year-old church that burned on April 29, 1992. Members of the committee and other volunteers from the Jonesport, Beals and Addison area are expected to help speed the construction project.
On Monday, general contractor Stanley P. Foss Jr. of Columbia Falls will begin an excavation of the property for the main foundation of the one-story wooden building. The main part of the building will be 125 by 80 feet and will feature a seating capacity of 300 people. Also, a four-classroom educational ell will be erected on the west side of the building.
The general contractor chosen to erect the $775,000 building was Michael Church, of Church Enterprises of Jonesport.
The site was cleared on Monday, April 5, when the Jonesport Fire Department burned an old, two-story wooden house that once housed the congregation’s Thrift Shop. Firemen used the relatively small building as the subject of a program to train area firemen. Firemen from neighboring towns also participated in the training exercise that began at 4 p.m.
According to Laura Lenfestey, who occupies a home adjacent to the site of the new church, the burning of the old Thrift Shop opened Moosabec Reach to her view. She said Charles Wilson was the first occupant of the small house. “The Wilson family once owned and occupied a very large part of this area of the town,” she said. The property on which the new church will be erected was part of that large tract of land.