Fun Finds Friday: Revere Bell’s Homecoming

[dot_recommends] March 11, 2022 Uncategorized

A Bronze Bell Cast in Paul Revere's Foundry Returns Home from A Garage in California

188-year-old bronze church bell rests on supports on the floor of a garage with clutter in the background

Did you know that Paul Revere launched the U.S. copper industry after the American Revolution? A silver and copper smith by trade, Revere formed a foundry that continues to operate today.

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In fact, the Revere foundry provided materials for the USS Constitution, which launched in 1797. Also known as “Old Ironsides,” it’s believed to the be oldest ship still afloat.

The foundry also forged over 900 bronze bells. According to the museum, Paul Revere’s son Joseph Warren Revere took over the foundry in 1804. So, he would have been in charge when this 1834 bell was cast.

Thanks to respect for history one of those bells will now be displayed rather than hidden away!

 

A 1,000-pound Bell’s Journey Across Years and Miles

It took a week for the bell to be transported from a garage in California to the Canton, Ohio Paul Revere Heritage Site just south of Boston, Massachusetts.

The unlikely journey across 188 years and 3,000 miles contained several stops along the way!

  • The bell had hung in the belfry of the First Presbyterian Church of Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Later, it adorned the First Baptist Church in Vermilion, Ohio.
  • In 1984, when that church was sold, real estate agent Jeannene Shanks took possession of it in exchange for a $1,000 donation to the church.
  • The bell retired with her to California where it sat in her garage. Family members remember it being rung for fun every Fourth of July.
  • Her children inherited it and nearly sold it for $50,000 but decided against the sale lest the bell be melted down by the buyer.
  • Instead, they investigated the bell’s origins and arranged to donate the bell to the museum

 

A Piece of American History Preserved for All

Local historian and museum board member George Comeau said hundreds of the bells remain hidden from public view. He said this story “just shows the long reach of history. We’re super excited it’s coming home.”

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–parin
Managing Partner

 

Image credit: AP

 

 

 

 

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