Mount Horeb Methodist Church addition finished off with celebrated placement of historic bell
A 124-year-old bell was placed atop the nearly completed Mount Horeb United Methodist Church addition earlier this month. The roughly 30-minute process was anticipated for more than 33 years and will be a permanent part of the congregation’s history.
National Construction facilitated the setting of the bell Monday, May 7. After removing the existing steeple from the roof, the contractor and its subcontractor Ideal Crane Rental joined church members in a prayer and some photos.
Then, Ideal’s 60-ton crane with a 142-foot boom lifted the bell, and National Construction crews secured it into the new bell tower. The long-awaited bell placement was a celebration of substantial completion of the Methodist church addition.
The bell was manufactured in 1894 by C. Campbell and Sons Centennial Bell Foundry in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and was in the congregation’s original church built in 1904 on the corner of 3rd and Oak Streets, just down from the current Chamber of Commerce Welcome Center. When the current church on County Highway S was built in 1984, funding was so tight there wasn’t enough money to build a new tower for the bell.
“The bell went into storage for approximately 33 years. We got it out about 10 years ago, had it refurbished, had it mounted on some wood blocks,” said Phil Tschudy, communications chair at the Mount Horeb Methodist Church. “We had it inside our entryway but it wasn’t really on top of the building.”
In 2017, the congregation approved a 2,753 square foot church addition that features a new front entry, narthex, hospitality area, and future administrative space and pastor’s office. The bell was shipped to Verdin Design Group in Cincinnati, Ohio, to be fitted. The bell tower also includes an elevator shaft for future installation of an elevator.