Old Ship Zion Church Bell
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.
This location approximates the bell's original position in the Old Ship Zion Church some one hundred sixty six years ago.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & Religion • Communications • Man-Made Features • Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Historic Bells 🔔 series list. A significant historical date for this entry is August 6, 1811.
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
Also see . . . A History of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.
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 200 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on May 4, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.