School bell moved
The Barnesville School bell was recently relocated from in front of Barnesville Elementary School to inside Barnesville High School.
The bell, itself, has had a very long history — even before it arrived in Belmont County.
The bell was moulded in Baltimore, Md., with its attachment and weighs 2,600 pounds. It’s manufacturer, McShane and Company, sent the bell to Paris, France, for the Great Exposition of 1878 and it won top prize in its class. When it returned home, having crossed the Atlantic Ocean twice, it was sold to the Barnesville School Board.
In the late 1870s, a new school building for Barnesville was contemplated. Plans were agreed upon for a three-story building of brick, almost square, with a Mansard roof and a central tower 124 feet high. In this tower, a wonderful clock and a fine-toned bell were installed.
A long piece of rope hung from the bell to the main floor more than 100 feet below. A janitor had the responsibility of ringing the bell at the required times, but a real treat came when he would let a student take a ride. As he pulled to ring the bell, he would hand you the rope and up into the air six to eight feet you would go. The bell was also run after a Barnesville High School Shamrock football victory.
For years, the bell sat outside in front of the current elementary school and was subject to summer’s heat and winter’s cold. It had deteriorated. In the late 1990s, the bell was restored to its original looks.
The Barnesville Exempted Village School District would like to thank Stephen Towing of Woodsfield for moving the school bell for the community.