Save The Historic Troy Union Church
This is our heritage.
The building was built in 1840 by the men of the Troy community, from local hemlock and white pine trees. The timber frame (mortise and tenon joinery) construction and architectural style of the church, Greek Revival and Gothic Revival, were the construction method and style of choice in most communities of pre-Civil War Maine. Troy Union Meeting House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on November 17, 2011.
What denomination is Troy Union Church?
Troy Union Church has been a Christian church from the beginning. Land was given by Francis Hillman, beside a post road which connected Unity to Bangor. The founders purchased pews to pay for the building of the Union Meeting House. The townspeople had only one church, so they agreed to allow other Christian congregations to use the building. That's why it was called a "Union" Meeting House. It was not used for town meetings. Now it is an independent nondenominational Christian church. For quite a few years the United Methodist Church has supplied our pastors. We have often shared a pastor with the Dixmont United Methodist Church.
Why is the steeple leaning?
The steeple (belfry tower) is leaning because the main supporting structures, built of trusses hewn from large green hemlock trees over 172 years ago have rotted. Water leaked in through the belfry roof. The south "chord'' is sagged so the tower leans into the sanctuary. Note: this chord or beam is about 12" X 12" and spans 32 feet. The tree to replace this chord needs to be 20" diameter breast height and 40 feet tall, and must be straight and sound.
What keeps the tower from falling into the sanctuary?
A strong stabilizing support was installed April 12, 2011. It was built by Preservation Timber Framing, Inc. by Arron Sturgis and crew. This brace extends from the ground under the church up through the floor and ceiling, and on to support the south side of the belfry tower.
Couldn't the steeple have been removed?
No, because the supporting structure of the north side of the tower is integrated into the
structure of the front (gable end) of the church.
What does the Troy Union Church Steeple Need and What will it Cost?
Our steeple (belfry tower) is leaning because it needs new trusses (strong supports) that hold up the tower, and transfer its weight to the top plate of the outside walls. They have rotted, as moisture leaked in through the belfry and roof. The belfry tower itself has to be restored and made leak-proof. The roof will need to be opened for these major repairs, and then repaired afterwards. In the meantime, the tower has been stabilized, so there is no threat of its falling into the sanctuary. The cost of the truss and roof repair and belfry restoration is estimated to be about
$120,000. If we raise about $65,000 more toward an $80,000 match, we may be approved for a $40,000 restoration grant through the Maine Steeples Project.