Donations needed to raise weather vane atop Watertown church

Published: Aug. 9, 2023 at 2:40 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - A historic weather vane is almost ready to be put back at the top of a Watertown church. But before it can go up, something else needs to be raised - money.

“Every day that I come around and look up the square here and I look up, there is something missing,” said Pastor Jeff Smith from First Baptist Church in Watertown

He’s talking about the church’s weather vane, which was created more than 130 years ago.

In the fall of 2022, the process of restoring it began as crews carefully removed it from its perch overlooking Public Square

Then, it was taken to Converse Welding in Watertown where some parts were replaced and restored.

But now, as the final touches are about to be done, getting it back up is becoming the new challenge.

“It is going to cost us close to $10,000 to get it back up,” said Smith.

Pastor Smith says the church doesn’t have its own financial means to do the work so it’s looking for donations with help from the Northern New York Community Foundation, which is facilitating getting the funds.

The goal is to get the weather vane sandblasted and painted in the next few weeks. Then, once the money is raised, the plan is to get it back on the steeple as soon as possible.

It will be painted in its original gold coloring.

“People can see the church complete as it was when they built it,” said Smith.

Motivated Realty and Jake Johnson Properties made a first donation of $5,000. They’re challenging others in the community to raise the remaining $5,000.

Anyone interested in donating can reach out to the Northern New York Community Foundation directly for more information.