The Town of South Berwick and the Friends of the Library renovated the old St. Michael’s Catholic Church for our new town library and during the repair and restoration of the steeple four large carved brackets from the original building were found stored in the belfry. They can be seen in the corners of the bell tower just under the top roof. Public Works preserved the brackets and the Town put them up for sale on Craig’s List.
The St. Michael’s Church features found a new home with the Donahue family.
Katherine Donahue is the Great-Niece of lifelong South Berwick resident’s Marie, Martha, Bernadette, and Julia Donahue. She was baptized in St. Michaels Church, which has served the Donahue family for generations. Marie Donahue was the co-founder of the Old Berwick Historical Society, and wrote The Old Academy on The Hill 1791 – 1991, a history of Berwick Academy. She was also the Co-Chair of the committee which wrote about the 100th Anniversary of St. Michael’s Church in South Berwick.
The strong Donahue connection with the church is why Katherine was drawn to the four architecture pieces. Two of the brackets will stay in South Berwick at the Donahue residence, while the others will be used in the remodel of a Donahue family property in Wakefield NH. The Wakefield property was the home of Katherine’s Grandparents, Patrick Joseph and Lillian Donahue. Patrick Joseph Donahue was the brother of her four Great Aunts.
Katherine is elated to have acquired these brackets and looks forward to having the historically significant pieces incorporated into the family homes.
The Town of South Berwick is happy that the old and the new are appreciated and repurposed in such a fitting way.
*Thank you to the Old Berwick Historical Society for the use of the photo of St. Michael’s Church