Historic Paul Revere Bell Finds New Home at Boston's Old South Meeting House

Oct 18, 2011, 14:06 ET from Old South Meeting House

BOSTON, Oct. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- One of 46 surviving bells made by Paul Revere's foundry before his death found a new home at Boston's Old South Meeting House, the famed place where the Boston Tea Party began.  The 876-pound Paul Revere bell, made in 1801, was acquired from the First Baptist Church of Westborough, Massachusetts.  The bell was connected to the original 1766 tower clock and will once again ring out the hour as it did in Colonial Boston.

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To celebrate the raising of the historic bell to its clock tower, Old South Meeting House hosted a bell raising ceremony which included performances by Old South Church Choir, Boston Children's Chorus, the Landmark's Orchestra Brass Ensemble, and the Back Bay Bell Ringers.  As the bell was hoisted by a crane up to the clock tower, church bells throughout Boston chimed in unison in a city-wide salute to mark the occasion.

"The City of Boston is delighted to celebrate the installation of a Paul Revere bell to the historic steeple of Old South Meeting House. The tower of Old South Meeting House has been of great importance to the people of Boston, who have listened for the hourly strike of its bell since 1731 and have trusted its reliable clock since 1770," said Thomas Menino, Mayor of Boston.

This extraordinary project was made possible through a gift from the Storrow family, which funded both the purchase and installation of the Paul Revere Bell and the 2009 restoration of the 18th century tower clock. The 1766 clock created by watchmaker Gawen Brown is New England's oldest tower clock in continuing operation in its original location.  Installation of the 1801 Revere bell completes the tower clock restoration.

"With the support of the Storrow family, we've been working on the restoration of the Meeting House Tower and its magnificent 1766 Tower Clock," said Emily Curran, executive director at Old South Meeting House. "As part of that restoration we very much wanted to return a bell to the tower.  It's very exciting."

The 1801 bell is the oldest of three Paul Revere bells on Boston's Freedom Trail. The other bells include a 900-pound 1804 bell at the Paul Revere House, and a 2437-pound 1816 bell at King's Chapel.  

Old South Meeting House is a museum and historic site on Boston's Freedom Trail, open daily year round.

SOURCE Old South Meeting House