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The Hallowell Firehouse weather vane was stolen from the top of the firehouse in 1973. One stormy night thieves climbed the hose tower using ladders the stolen from a nearby building. In "Weather Vanes and Whirligigs," a 1967 book by Ken Fitzgerald, the Hallowell weather vane was listed among prominent New England weather vanes. Its value was estimated between $50,000 and $100,000. The City offered a $1,000 reward to anyone leading to the return of the valuable artifact.
Sam Pennington, editor of the Maine Antique Digest, was contacted by the alleged thieves in 1983 and was able to recover the weather vane on a gravel road near Manchester, New Hampshire. Pennington paid the thieves the $1,000 reward and returned the weather vane to the City of Hallowell. After much debate, the weather vane was placed back on the hose tower with a security alarm cable attached. Sam Pennington was never charged even though he paid ransom and crossed state lines to recover the artifact. The alleged thieves were identified by law enforcement agents but never prosecuted.
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