City Officially Unveils Restored Town Bell (VIDEO)

Craig HemingwayAll News, Home Page News, Press Releases

December 2, 2022

Moose Jaw, SK – The City of Moose Jaw is proud to officially unveil the community’s first town bell which has been restored and installed on a new stand. Here is a timeline of the bell’s history:

  • May 16, 1902, the bell was ordered from American Bell Foundry Co. of Michigan for $100.00.
  • On July 4, 1902, the bell was first erected on a derrick at the rear of town hall on Main St. N and River St. W, approximately one block from its current location.
  • In 1904 the bell was moved to the bell tower of the newly built City Hall on Fairford St. W and 1st Ave NW and was rung for fire alarms and curfews during prohibition. It is said that the bell could be heard as far as 7 miles (11km) away.
  • In 1951, the bell was removed from City Hall and moved to St. George’s Church.
  • In 1972 it was installed in Crescent Park under the curation of the Moose Jaw Museum and Art Gallery.
  • After being vandalized, the bell was removed from Crescent Park and stored at the City yards.
  • In 2017 the City of Moose Jaw’s Heritage Advisory Committee took on the task of restoring this important piece of the City’s history.
  • On November 10, 2022, the restored town bell was installed with a new derrick stand on the outdoor concourse of the Moose Jaw Events Centre (110 1st NW).
  • December 1, 2022 – the official public unveiling of the restored town bell.

The bell was originally designed for long-term outdoor exposure and low maintenance. It is made of cast alloy steel and mounted on a headstock supported by two A-shaped cast iron frames on each side.  It weighs approximately 1,500 lbs (680kg) and contains a 3ft (.91m) tall removable clapper that is stored indoors and re-installed for special occasions.

The new bell stand was designed with cues from early 20th century structures to emulate the period when the bell was first erected as many old train bridges and buildings were built with cross bracing and rivets.  The derrick style design also includes a bench around the perimeter to enhance the functionality of the stand and to provide a gathering/resting place near the Moose Jaw Events Centre.

The City of Moose Jaw acknowledges the many volunteers and businesses that have contributed to the restoration of the historic town bell:

  • City of Moose Jaw Heritage Advisory Committee (2017 – 2022): Crystal Froese (City Councillor), Scott Hellings, John Bye, Dana Bushko, Ira Dales, Janie Fries, Larry Hellings, Todd McIntyre, Yvette Moore, Stella Richards, Karla Rasmussen, Dave Wentworth.
  • Saskatchewan Polytechnic Welding Department (welding repairs & fabrication of new pivot bushings): Stephen Guillaume, Buck Calfas.
  • I&E Painting and Sandblasting (painting and sandblasting of bell).
  • Steady Metalworks (initial design concept of the bell stand).
  • Right Choice Energy Services (fabrication & installation of the new bell stand and mounting of the bell)
  • C&S Builders (foundation for bell stand).
  • Vern Corbett (project engineer).