Smartsville Church

Aurel Onut inside the Smartsville Church’s sanctuary that he helped restore.

What was once old is becoming new again.

The Smartsville Church, originally named the Church of the Immaculate Conception by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento, got some much-needed upgrades to its interior.

“Our sanctuary restoration specialist is now finished with his work on our Smartsville Church project,” said Kit Burton. “The results are so beautiful and spectacular that people who knew what it looked like just a few months ago are literally astounded.”

Burton is with the Smartsville Church Restoration Fund, a group that’s been working to restore the 1800s-era church for more than 20 years.

“Besides Aurel Onut, the man from Romania that has finished his sanctuary work, expert woodworker John Wright of Wright Restoration in Grass Valley is currently restoring two of our church windows,” Burton said. “When the shop work is completed, he will install the windows at the church. Then, he will tackle another set of windows.”

Burton said he and other members of the group are grateful for the donations that have come in to keep the project progressing.

“Perhaps most important is our ability to match donations for future work,” he said. “Because of a generous donation from Ned and Carol Spieker, we are now in a position to become partners with individuals and local civic organizations by sharing the cost of small or large portions of our restoration work.”

He said Byzantine Painting Studio, from Sacramento, painted the sanctuary but the work is far from done.

“We are also looking for a contractor to rehabilitate the existing foundation along the back wall,” Burton said. “This work will include shoring, reinforced concrete, and miscellaneous carpentry work.  We are currently accepting bids and we are always available to show the job site to interested contractors.”

Burton said Live Oak-based Berry Electric has agreed to assist in preparing an electrical plan, getting county approval and will perform initial wiring on the Gold Rush-era church.

Recommended for you