In restoring Jenna's little old house and the outbuildings to it a bit further, i had encouraged Mike to consider re-mounting his family's farm bell. We had dismounted it from its post when we weren't there to see that it didn't get taken off by some scavenger. It had been stuck under the garage shed here in Carolina for almost 20 years.
I couldn't recall precisely how it has been mounted, or where the mounting supports might have gotten set aside. Sat down a few weeks ago, and Googled for farm bell mounting hardware. Turned up a really neat website or a company called Prindle Station.
Evidently, this company owns the patterns and patents of the C.S. Bell company, which manufactured most of these old bells, starting on the 1870s. After reading this very thorough history, I looked the Winn bell over, and found the model # 4 on it, which is HUGE. Guess they needed a really loud one to carry across the hills and through woods on that beautiful place.
As for this bell, Mike's dad told me that his Mama called him to many a meal with it; but, that " the mule always heard it before I did". I can remember him laughing as he told me that. What a wonderful man....
Anyway, I thought I would share the name of this company with all of you. Farm bells are an integral part of American farm family history. Ours is going to require a good bit of work to mount, due to its weight.
We had to scratch our heads to recall where we had stored the belfry mounts (could have bought a new set, but $$$$$$!!!!!). Turns out they had been laid down flat on a shelf under the same shed. The crank for leveraging the bell's yoke, to ring it, is missing, but we could not remember it ever having had one. I have an email sent Prindle Station, to ask for a quote on that piece. I am asking for a good idea on how to mount it on a post, too.
No telling what else we will turn up, especially when we get into some of the older buildings, further out from the house. After the bell, I am thinking about getting the old laundry kettles cleaned up, for open firepit stew cooking. That's a true Southern art.
Anyone else have a family farm bell on the place? We think we will use ours mostly to call in horseback riders, when we have the gang over again.
Any good stories about how your family used theirs?