Information courtesy of the Old South Meeting House.
The Westborough Paul Revere bell is again making history in Boston. At noon on Thursday, Jan. 12, the tower clock of Boston’s Old South Meeting House will ring out the hour for the first time in 136 years, striking the rare historic Westborough bell created by patriot Paul Revere.
The 1766 clock at Old South Meeting House is the oldest American-made tower clock still in operation in its original location, but it has had no bell to strike since 1876.
One of only 46 surviving bells made by Revere during his lifetime, has a new home at Boston’s Old South Meeting House, the famed National Historic Landmark where the Boston Tea Party began.
Since the bell was installed, a team of highly skilled specialists has been working to connect it to the 18th century tower clock.
In the steeple of Old South Meeting House, the bell will be struck daily with a heavy, lignum vitae wood hammer supported by an oak frame and stainless steel cables and rods designed by horologist David Hochstrasser and craftsman John Sullivan. The Old South Meeting House is also able to ring the bell for special occasions by swinging it on a meticulously crafted, new wheel of quarter-sawn white oak built by Old South Association board member Jeff Makholm.
The connection of the historic tower clock to the Paul Revere bell is the culmination of an award-winning three year project to restore the 18th century tower clock and install the Paul Revere bell. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said that this “extraordinary” project “restores an important part of our heritage and [will] benefit generations of Boston visitors and residents for generations to come. Nearly a hundred thousand people pass by this corner of Boston each day and this bell will reach every one of those people.”
On Thursday at noon, the tower clock will strike the Paul Revere bell for the first time. The bell is best heard outside of Old South Meeting House, particularly on the South side facing Milk Street. The clock will strike 12 times in succession for the noon hour and then will continue to chime hourly.
In celebration of this first clock strike, Old South Meeting House will be open to the public at no charge. Hot chocolate by American Heritage Chocolate will be served inside.