Our Paul Revere Bell

paul_revere_bellWoodstock holds the distinction of being the only town with five bells manufactured in the foundry established by Revolutionary War patriot Paul Revere. Our Revere Bell, now displayed on the south porch, is the oldest of Woodstock’s bells and the only one cast in Paul Revere’s lifetime.

While Paul Revere is best known for his famous Midnight Ride, after the Revolution he set up a foundry in the North End of Boston, making iron and later brass items such as stoves, hearths, anvils and cannons. In 1792, he agreed to re-cast the cracked bell from what is now known as the Old North Church in Boston, and from this beginning, the Paul Revere & Sons foundry went on to cast a total of 398 bells between 1792 and 1828.

In 1818 a committee of three journeyed from Woodstock to Boston and purchased our bell at a price of 45¢ a pound from Paul Revere & Sons. As the bell weighed 711 pounds, the purchase price was $319.95. It is interesting to think how long the trip by horse and wagon would have been to Boston and back, and how a 711 pound bell was lifted into our bell tower.

paul_revere_bell2In 1974, after 156 years, a crack was discovered in the Revere bell. Experts confirmed that it could not be repaired. A new bell was purchased from the Verdin Company and installed in 1976. The new bell, tuned to the key of C as was the original bell, and weighing approximately the same, was cast bearing the words “Praise Ye The Lord … Psalm 150.” Our faithful Revere Bell was retired and can be viewed at the south (left) entry to the church.

Three of Woodstock’s five Revere Bells still ring from the Masonic Temple (formerly the Christian Church), Saint James Episcopal Church, and the North Universalist Chapel. The fifth Revere Bell rests on a pedestal behind the Woodstock Inn in front of the Inn’s putting green.