By Bethany Kosmider
CROWN POINT - The famous weathervane atop Crown Point's White Church has returned - kinda.
The valuable, historic weathervane that was stolen on Nov. 11, 2003, and was later found in New Haven, Conn., has a close replica now adorning the belfry tower.
The original weathervane, Gabriel, was sold in 2007 for $750,000to the very antique dealer who secured custody of it during its getaway travels from the law.
The White Church Association felt the possibility of the angel being stolen again was very real.
Having been given an offer for the weathervane, the members also felt the money could be used to help other organizations in Crown Point. The decision was born to relieve themselves of the chancy art piece in exchange for peace of mind and monetary gifts to organizations in Crown Point.
"It was our chance to help other organizations and at the same time have money to keep the White Church in good repair for a long time to come," said town historian Joan Hunsdon.
Hunsdon said the Gabriel Fund was established from the sale and the members of the association decided to gift $200 to each graduating student of Crown Point Central School every year from now on forward.
"We will also be donating each year to some historic preservation project or entity," said Hunsdon.
Hunsdon was proud to point out the new sign made of cypress wood by Danny Lee and the painting of the sign by Patti Grant.
"After Gabriel was taken, they built this sign that we now have on the front of the church," she said. "People have been wonderful."
Joan and her husband, Bill Hunsdon, knew they needed to replace the weathervane with a replica of Gabriel and began their search. Little did they know the search would end across the road from their home.