A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Cumberland update: Repairing the steeple

Written April 16th, 2023 by Hasso Hering

The steeple and the former Cumberland church as they looked on April 13, 2023.

Bit by bit, the volunteer effort to turn the old Cumberland Church in Albany into a center for community events is making progress.

On a bike ride last Thursday, I glanced over at the detached steeple of the old church. The steeple was mostly covered with brand-new shingles. That was hard to miss.

As usual, I checked with Joel Orton, the vice president of the Cumberland Community Events Center. That’s the volunteer group that obtained the historic church from the City of Albany and, in 2021, had it moved to a vacant lot at Pine Street and Santiam Road.

And also as usual, Orton sent me a detailed rundown of developments, both past and coming up.

As I had noticed, the steeple’s wooden shingle roof was replaced. The work was done by Orezona Roofing, which also put a new roof on the building itself last December.

TGC Structural, a Gerding company, is installing additional framing in the steeple. Orton said volunteers guided by Rusty Van Rossman have worked on the steeple repairs as well, with support from Parr Lumber to keep the cost of materials low.

The plan is to hoist the steeple back on the roof on April 26 if the weather allows.

Beyond that, Orton told me the group will continue its focus on restoring the building’s exterior by repairing and repainting the siding.

He provided this rundown of upcoming dates:

On Saturday, May 13, there will be a celebration to mark the 131st birthday of the building. (It was dedicated on May 5, 1892.)

The following Saturday, May 20, the group will celebrate installation of the steeple.

“Both events will be held outside and include refreshments and live music,” Orton wrote. “In addition, we will be at the Albany Farmer’s Market on Saturday, May 6, to share information about our organization and answer questions.”

Restoring this part of Albany’s history and putting the building to new use is not, obviously, an overnight job. It’s a slow process that depends on volunteers and financial support. But as you can see, headway is being made. (hh)

A closer look at the newly shingled steeple.

5 responses to “Cumberland update: Repairing the steeple”

  1. Bob Woods says:

    Absolutely beautiful work. It’s going to be a great asset to the community.

  2. CHEZZ says:

    Albany, get ready for community events, live music of all sorts, and rental space! The Cumberland non profit is doing an excellent restoration. Bravo! See you at upcoming events!

  3. Emma says:

    I would like to thank Brian Dietrich manager of Parr Lumber and Gary Goby for continuing to believe in the possibilities for the future
    this building brings with its’ new outlook. DAR helped with a grant specific to the roof of the building. All of the volunteers hours and willingness to do what it takes to move forward as I work beside them.
    Considering what has happened and is still happening, we have made amazing progress!
    Thanks Hasso.

  4. Rhea Graham says:

    I am so proud of these volunteers for doing such amazing work! Thank you thank you thank you!

  5. Pat Kight says:

    I can’t wait until it’s all finished!


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