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Old church being readied to reopen after fire

Posted: Tuesday, May 30, 2000

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The historic St. Paul's Church in Eagle is getting spruced up and will soon reopen after being damaged in a fire a year and a half ago.

The church, which was built in 1899, was damaged in a chimney fire and the church parsonage was destroyed.

Residents of the town recently joined members of the Eagle Historical Society & Museums and nine Eagle Community School students for a three-day cleanup of the church.

The church's windows and foundation still need some work.

''We had to get it organized in order to do anything else with it,'' said historical society President Elva Scott.

The church needed brush clearing around the outside and repairs from smoke damage on the inside. The chimney fire originated in the parsonage.

Volunteers cleaned out the surrounding buildings. Artifacts will be placed in the museum.

''There were some really interesting things that were back there that didn't belong in the church,'' Scott said. The items discovered included a kerosene oven and handmade furniture.

One of the two outer buildings will be used as a workshop, the other to store lumber. The church will house exhibits explaining the history of churches in Eagle.

In October, the society received a quit-claim deed to the church and its buildings from Episcopal Bishop Mark MacDonald, meaning all rights and claims to the church have been turned over to the society.

St. Paul's will become part of the society's daily tour, along with other restored buildings like Judge Wickersham's courthouse, Fort Egbert and Waterfront Customs House, which contains 100-year-old artifacts.



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