Suffolk, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Old City Hall Bell
This cast bronze bell identified as the BARE Bell was manufactured at Baltimore Foundry, Baltimore, Maryland in 1885.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture • Man-Made Features. In addition, it is included in the Historic Bells series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1891.
Location. 36° 43.727′ N, 76° 34.972′ W. Marker is in Suffolk, Virginia. Marker is on North Main Street (Virginia Route 32) north of East Washington Street (Business U.S. 13), on the right when traveling north. The commemorative marker and bell are located in Courthouse Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 126 N Main St, Suffolk VA 23434, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are Obici-Oderzo Fountain Marker (within shouting distance of this marker); President's Days Plaque (within shouting distance of this marker); Mr. Peanut (approx. 0.2 miles away); Booker T. Washington High School (approx. 0.3 miles away); Safe Haven (approx. 0.3 miles away); Oak Lawn Cemetery (approx. 0.4 miles away); World War II Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); Korea and Vietnam Wars Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Suffolk.
Also see . . .
1. Learn how a cast bronze bell is made (Verdin Bells and Clocks website). (Submitted on January 11, 2017, by Cynthia L. Clark of Suffolk, Virginia.)
2. Watch how bells are tuned (Verdin Bells and Clocks website). (Submitted on January 12, 2017, by Cynthia L. Clark of Suffolk, Virginia.)
3. View how a bell tower works (Inside the Clock Tower Building at 346 Broadway on youtube). (Submitted on January 12, 2017, by Cynthia L. Clark of Suffolk, Virginia.)
4. View the 16th Century Tower Clock Project on youtube. (Submitted on January 12, 2017, by Cynthia L. Clark of Suffolk, Virginia.)
1. Tribute to an 1885 Cast Bronze Bell
Once upon a time, an 1885 cast bronze bell hung behind a four-faced clock in a spire-topped turret of a building
Saved by preservation, that bell, now known as “Old City Hall Bell,” stands in a position of historical recognition in Courthouse Park in the 100 block of North Main Street. Its installation occurred in 1997, according to Suffolk’s Media and Community Relations Office. For a retired 131-year old relic, it is in excellent, admirable condition.
For over seven decades, from 1891 until 1962, that cast bronze bell held residence in an architecture that photographers captured on film and artists sketched on paper. Few people, if any, wrote about the internal mechanisms that produced the dong of a lone bell behind the walls of its tower. It was a mechanical marvel in the 1800’s.
Old City Hall Bell may not have the historic prestige of the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or Clock Tower (346 Broadway) in New York City; but it is nevertheless a valuable artifact from the bygone days of Suffolk and Nansemond County.
— Submitted January 12, 2017, by Cynthia L. Clark of Suffolk, Virginia.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 1, 2023. It was originally submitted on January 11, 2017, by Cynthia L. Clark of Suffolk, Virginia. This page has been viewed 456 times since then and 7 times this year. Last updated on January 17, 2017, by Cynthia L. Clark of Suffolk, Virginia. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on January 11, 2017, by Cynthia L. Clark of Suffolk, Virginia. 7, 8. submitted on January 17, 2017, by Cynthia L. Clark of Suffolk, Virginia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.