The fire station bell, dedicated to the department on July 4, 1876 – though it’s older than that, according to Fire Chief Justin James – is now hanging from a newly constructed Centennial Bell Tower in front of the fire station at 200 South Fourth St.
With the bell now installed, next will come finishing the roof and plaza below. Depending on the weather, a ceremony could be held as early as Spring, James said.
Cast by McShane Bell Foundry in Maryland via sand and horse manure, it was labeled Rumsey for branding, James explained. An 1869 article of the Nonpareil is the first mention of the bell, stating the citizenry have sent for one out of a Rumsey catalog.
The catalog itself is housed in the Library of Congress, James added.
In fact, when the city first got the bell, it was bigger than they thought. It was first erected around 1882. It tolled for fire calls and firefighter funerals at various station spots around the city until it was located at Station No. 6 on North Broadway in the mid-2000s.
Including Iowa metro counties.
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Historic Council Bluffs Fire Department bell ready to ring once more
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