A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Cumberland Church gets its steeple back

Written April 26th, 2023 by Hasso Hering

The bike got me to the Cumberland site just as the steeple was being hoisted into place.

Today was a milestone in the conversion of the historic Cumberland Church into a center for community events on the east side of old Albany: The steeple was put back on.

The steeple had been taken off in order to move the old church building to its new site late in 2021. In recent weeks the steeple was repaired, reinforced and repainted.

This morning a crew from the Forslund company in Albany lifted it back into place as a handful of spectators lined Santiam Road to watch.

Here’s what it looked like:




Eventually, the plan is to put the bell back into the steeple. The bell is being stored by the City of Albany, which had removed it for safety reasons shortly after the city bought the 1892 church building in 2000 to make room for a road project.

The road project plans were changed, making the church property at Santiam Road and Main Steet surplus. The city sold the old church to the Cumberland Community Events Center, which purchased some city-owned property at Santiam Road and Pine Street and had the building moved there.

Joel Orton, vice president of the volunteer group, said they hope to repair and repaint the outside of the building by the end of this year.

They’ve already done a good deal of demolition to reveal the original shape of the space inside. The plan is to add a wing, along with parking, and then to make the place available for community events, as the name implies. (hh)

6 responses to “Cumberland Church gets its steeple back”

  1. Cap B. says:

    Nice pictures and good story. Thanks. That’s a community center that will give the former “Sr. Center ” a run for their money,” as the old saying goes.

  2. Pat Kight says:

    I’m so glad they’ve hit this long-awaited milestone. I can’t wait until the bell is put back in the steeple and can be rung.

  3. James Engel says:

    Come on viewers of HH blog….DONATE now!. Betty & I have repeatedly in the past and you can to!!! Go to their site, whip out that credit card & DO IT…!!! Wow…if every viewer wound donate just $20 a great construction chest could be raised. This is what community is about!!!

  4. CHEZZ says:

    The Cumberland Community Center is having two celebrations in May!
    *May 13th, Saturday – a 100 year celebration of the Church with live music too. Time to be announced.
    *May 20th, Saturday – Cumberland’s Steeple Celebration! Live Music, Time to be announced.
    Celebrate yourselves too, by donating to the continued construction for the future events you may attend. Let’s open their doors, and see all the people!

  5. Kristina Robb says:

    Yay!! Love this building and all the efforts made.

  6. Rebecca Blair says:

    Yes, it’s a privilege to be part of this historic building renovation that will benefit our community! I also encourage everyone to pitch in and donate!


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