The bell displayed near the front of this building was cast in 1898. It was put into use shortly after it was cast. It has quite a history.
It originally sat in a belfry in a two room schoolhouse in Osage and summoned children to school. It rang to assemble the bucket brigades that fought community fires and it rang for hours to tell everyone that World War One had ended on November 11, 1918.
The bell was moved to the new school house ( the photo above) in 1938 and sat upon a pump house on the east side of the building. It summoned new generations of students to school.
The bell no longer rang when the new school was completed in 1957. I was in the very first first grade class in the new school and I never heard the bell ring.
Sometime or another the bell was taken down and put on this platform which sat outside of the old school/ Osage Community Center..which at that time was known as the Senior Citizens Center.
Members of Far Guys family ( his Uncles and his Father) donated this platform for the bell in loving memory of their mother Tracy ( 1895 to 1983). This is an old Polaroid..this photo may have been taken by Far Guys Dad as he was notorious for his Polaroid's.
In July of 2003 Uncle Arch, Uncle Jim and Far Guy tore down the old platform and had a new cement slab poured. It was quite a project. ( Photo by Auntie Esther)
Last spring a new Community Center was built. The old Community Center was up for sale. The bell still stood outside.
Far Guy has been worrying about the bell half the summer. Would they be able to move it? Would they be able to pick it up in one piece and move it to the new Community Center?
One day the phone rang and it was my cousin Arthur, he is a Town Board Supervisor..the bell had been moved. On election day we found it in it’s new spot.
The bell was moved before winter. No, it is no longer in a school yard..but it hasn’t been in a school yard for a long time. It does seem rather lonely all by itself behind the building, but we were told that eventually this may be a picnic area.
Can you imagine what it sounded like in 1918 on Armistice Day..can you imagine all the people running to the school to hear the news..and all the children taking turns ringing the bell:)