What's with the Finger?
In 1851, a Christian revival was held in the heart of Houghton Creek. Willard J. Houghton was among the crowd that gathered in attendance. He later claimed that the revival allowed him to rededicate his life to God. He left quite a legacy starting numerous Sunday Schools in the area and was instrumental in beginning Houghton Seminary, later called Houghton Academy, and Houghton College. Before his famous work began, He and several local people started a modest Church – meeting in the local schoolhouse initially. They eventually raised enough funds to erect the Wesleyan Church. On top of the Church steeple, an artist, commissioned by Willard J. Houghton, sculpted a wooden hand with an index finger pointing up toward Heaven. At the bottom of the hand was a tin square which was affixed to the tip of the steeple. Perhaps coincidentally, 1851 was also the year that the Genesee canal came through town, and Houghton Creek’s redemption story began.
The hand now resides in the Houghton College archives and can be seen upon request.