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Construction crew solves the Salem mystery of St. Joseph’s statue

Posted By Wayne Grayson On May 17, 2013 @ 12:03 am In Construction News | No Comments

construction crew st. jos statue [1]

Credit: Planning Office for Urban Affairs

For 64 years people in Salem, Massachusetts wondered “Where did St. Joseph go?”

Between 1911 and 1944, a 12-foot-tall statue of St. Joseph stood watch 100 feet above the ground in the edifice of the church in Salem that bore his name, according to The Salem News [2]. Though St. Joseph Church burned down in the Salem Fire of 1914, the skeleton of the church and the statue remained. The statue was taken down in 1944 and a large crowd gathered to watch.

And at some point between then and 1950 the statue was buried. Until just a couple weeks ago, no one knew exactly where.

The Planning Office for Urban Affairs demolished the old church skeleton and is now building a $20 million affordable apartment complex on the site. Before work began sonar and ground-penetrating radar were used to search for the statue in order to make record of and then re-bury the statue if it was found. No luck.

But then, on May 3 while digging the last footing for the new building’s foundation, workers uncovered the statue. Lisa Alberghini, president of the Planning Office for Urban Affairs, made a neat remark on the discovery.

“St. Joseph was a carpenter, and it’s wonderful and appropriate to honor him today at this active construction site where we are working to build new homes … up out of this ground, for people in need,” Alberghini said during the reburial of the statue in a private cemetery.

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[1] Image: http://www.equipmentworld.com/files/2013/05/construction-crew-st.-jos-statue.jpg

[2] according to The Salem News: http://www.salemnews.com/local/x701043903/Workers-find-statue-of-St-Joseph-in-Salem

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