In Westborough, people want to know: For whom will the bell toll?
The bell in question hangs in the First Baptist Church, a West Main Street institution that closed its doors last year due to a dwindling congregation. Church members are now preparing to sell the building, but they don't know what to do with the 865-pound bronze bell hanging in its belfry.
It would be a shame if the bell left Westborough, church members and local officials said. Cast by patriot Paul Revere, the bell was a gift in 1801 from Samuel Parkman, son of the minister who took the reins of Westborough's Puritan congregation in 1724 and stayed for nearly six decades. "We'd like to see it remain in town as a historical artifact," said David Nelson, chairman of the First Baptist Church's board of trustees.
Westborough's Historical Commission agrees that the bell is too closely tied to the town's history to be moved elsewhere, said cochairwoman Paula Skog. She and her colleagues are hoping the town can purchase the bell.
"It goes right back to the first days of Westborough and when it was first incorporated," said Skog. "It's one of the very first artifacts the town owns and I think it should stay as part of the town."
Read more of John Dyer's story here.