Check presentation: Members of CAWACO Resource, Conservation & Development Council presented a $5,000 grant to the town of Thorsby for renovations on Helen Jenkins Chapel. On hand for the presentation were Sen. Cam Ward, Rep. Kurt Wallace, Thorsby Mayor Dearl Hilyer, Thorsby Town Council members, CAWACO staff and board members.

Archived Story

Grant helps with chapel project

Published 10:05pm Thursday, August 23, 2012

By Tracia Bussey

CAWACO Resource, Conservation & Development Council presented a grant to the town of Thorsby on Wednesday, Aug. 8 in the amount of $5,000 to assist with the expenses of the renovations on Helen Jenkins Chapel.

The building, which was built by early Scandinavian settlers as a Norwegian Lutheran Church, had suffered from many years of public use and recent termite damage. It was originally feared that the building was beyond repair, but luckily, the damages were caught just in time to save the town’s historic icon.

The renovation efforts have been paid for through an unexpected overage in the town’s tax income, a grant from CAWACO, a donation from the Swedish Fest Fund, and donations of labor and supplies from concerned citizens, town council members and local businesses.

The building was first treated for termites, and then all the damaged wood was replaced. Major repairs were done to the structure, especially the bell tower and supportive beams. The entire floor was replaced, and major repairs were done on the many windows. Fresh paint, new light fixtures, new hand rails, gutters and a repaired porch finished up the project.

–Tracia Bussey is a community columnist for The Clanton Advertiser. She can be reached at

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