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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Wilkes-Barre in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Old Ship Zion Church Bell

 
 
Old Ship Zion Church Bell Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., May 2, 2018
1. Old Ship Zion Church Bell Marker
Inscription.  

Old Ship Zion Church on Public Square was the first religious assembly hall in Wilkes-Barre. This bell, the first known church bell in Luzerne County, hung in the church until the building was demolished in 1857. The bell was cast in Philadelphia by George Hedderly on August 6, 1811, and probably brought to Wilkes-Barre shortly afterward. It weighs 680 pounds. During its half century of service in the City, it tolled the day of each month, and the age of the deceased person at his funeral. It also served as a curfew bell, marking the 9:00 p.m. closing time.

The First Presbyterian Church of Pittston purchased the bell when Old Ship Zion was torn down, and used it for some 30 years. Later, when the First Presbyterian church of Wilkes-Barre moved to its new building at the corner of South Franklin and Northampton, and its old building became the Osterhout Free Library, the Pittston church offered to buy the unused bell in the tower of the library building and return Old Ship Zion Bell to Wilkes-Barre. Subsequently, the bell was given to the Wyoming Historical and Geological Society in 1890.

Old Ship Zion Church Bell and Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., May 2, 2018
2. Old Ship Zion Church Bell and Marker
Looking ESE across the Public Square
Until 1976 it was displayed in the Society's Franklin Street museum.

This location approximates the bell's original position in the Old Ship Zion Church some one hundred sixty six years ago.
 
Erected 1976.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & ReligionCommunicationsMan-Made FeaturesSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Historic Bells series list.
 
Location. 41° 14.754′ N, 75° 52.931′ W. Marker is in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, in Luzerne County. Monument is on the west side of the Public Square, in downtown. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Wilkes Barre PA 18701, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Christopher Columbus (a few steps from this marker); The Birthplace of HBO (within shouting distance of this marker); America's First Jazz Festival (within shouting distance of this marker); Birthplace of the AIME (within shouting distance of this marker); The Fine Arts Fiesta (within shouting distance of this marker); Public Square Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Wilkes Barre 1778

Old Ship Zion Church Bell image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., May 2, 2018
3. Old Ship Zion Church Bell
(within shouting distance of this marker); Wilkes-Barre Fort (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Wilkes-Barre.
 
Also see . . .  A History of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.
Includes info on Old Ship Zion Church
(Submitted on May 4, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.) 
 
Old Ship Zion Church Bell Detail image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., May 2, 2018
4. Old Ship Zion Church Bell Detail
Old Ship Zion Church Bell Detail image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., May 2, 2018
5. Old Ship Zion Church Bell Detail
Old Ship Zion Church Bell Detail image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., May 2, 2018
6. Old Ship Zion Church Bell Detail
Old Ship Zion Church Bell Detail image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., May 2, 2018
7. Old Ship Zion Church Bell Detail
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 24, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 4, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 167 times since then and 47 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on May 4, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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Sep. 23, 2020