Historic bell found inside Visual Arts Building

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(Courtesy of Union College) This bell was discovered last week during renovations to the Visual Arts Building. The bell traces its origins to the 1800s. It was used as a replacement after the original one was stolen by pranksters in 1860.

Earlier last week, a unique discovery was made in the Visual Arts Building.

According to Union’s website, Wayne Christiansen, a superintendent of the construction company working on the renovations in Visual Arts, discovered a bell thought to have been lost many years ago.

According to the website, the 18-inch, 100-pound bell made of copper and tin was found inside the cupola on the top of the Visual Arts Building.

The bell’s history is rooted in mystery and annoyance.

The original bell, which was replaced by the one Christiansen discovered last week, was crafted in West Troy by the Meneely Bell Foundry in the 19th century.

The bell needed to be replaced in 1860, according to Union’s website, when it was stolen from North Colonnade.

Wayne Somers makes mention of this bell in his “Encyclopedia of Union College History,” saying the original bell was either sent off to Harvard or hidden in a secret location by the students.

The college has plans to remove the bell safely, and it may be returned to the building following the completion of the renovations.

 

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