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Historical Church Relocated Via Unique Moving Process
church front 1
The start of a two day process began Monday morning shortly before 9 a.m. as church owner Allen Martin was on hand with a few from his crew to remove the steeple of the former United Brethren Church, built in the 1890s. Madsen acquired the building from the City of Oakdale earlier this year for $1. See additional photos, page A2. Teresa Hammond/The Leader

Preschool children cheered and spectators lined the streets as the historic church located on the northwest corner of North Third Avenue and East E Street began its movement to a new location.

On Tuesday morning, May 17 crews were hard at work ensuring that the movement of the church (soon to become a home) was both seamless and timely.

Owners Allen and Paula Martin were on hand, along with realtor Denise Cash and Professional Building Designer Jim Madsen keeping a watchful eye on the transition as it found its permanent resting place at the southwest corner of First Avenue and Walnut Street.

The Martins acquired the church from the City of Oakdale earlier this year for its asking price of $1. Their intention is to restore and renovate the building to a 2400 square foot residence. A prerequisite of the $1 purchase price was to move the building from its original location.

Martin is a long time general contractor with 35 years of experience, but this project is a first of its kind for the veteran.

The general contractor stated his appreciation toward the city and their willingness to work with them on such a large endeavor. He also stated he intends to restore and maintain as much of the originality as possible.

The church conversion is a first of its kind for Madsen as well. The designer shared he and Martin have worked together on multiple projects in the past, but was excited to get started on this one.

Community members lined the streets videotaping, taking photos and telling stories of family who once attended church in the building. Formerly the United Brethren Church, the historical building dates back to the 1890s.

“This really is a win win,” Oakdale City Manage Bryan Whitemyer said of the move. “It’s an exciting day for our city; I’m pleased with how it has turned out.”

The old wood building was removed from its original location shortly before 9 a.m. Tuesday. Crews took it west on East E Street and then north on First Avenue. Crews from PG&E were on hand to prune trees as well as keep power lines out of the way throughout the route.