A Brecksville Bicentennial Look Back

BUMC Church Bell Celebrates 100 Years of Service

When the Methodist congregation of Brecksville was founded in 1823, worship was held in the homes of its members. By 1832, construction began on a one-room church building where our sanctuary stands today. Soon plans were in the works to add a bell to the bell tower, but the high cost of shipping from the Buckeye Bell Foundry in Cincinnati kept that goal out of reach. In 1880, the Cleveland Terminal and Valley Railroad was completed through Brecksville which greatly reduced shipping costs. A committee was formed and the foundry was asked to cast a special bell whose tone would blend with the tone of the bell of the church across the square, the Congregational Church (now the Church of Christ). The bell was 36 inches high and 40 inches in diameter and its combined weight with the mounting structure was 1410 pounds—which was too much for the church’s 70 year old belfry. It’s likely that a bell of that size would have shook the whole building. The solution was to build a new stronger bell tower, and the bell was hung. The bell called worshipers from that spot from 1911 until the structure was razed in 1960 as part of the church’s expansion and renovation. The bell took it’s place the new tower in 1964, where it still hangs. This year, youth volunteers are ringing the bell for worship. Have you heard it?