The bell tower that once called patriots to the planning of the Boston Tea Party will soon have downtown ringing once again, with help from another piece of US history.
The Old South Meeting House on Washington Street is preparing to install a bell made in 1801 by no less a patriot than Paul Revere, who began casting bells in his North End foundry at the age of 57. To mark the occasion, which will reintroduce a bell to the tower for the first time since 1876, the society that runs the meeting house is planning a series of events over the coming days, culminating in the public hoisting of the historic bell into the tower at 2 p.m. Sunday.
“We’re kind of combining a construction project with a grand, public event, so it’ll be quite a huge undertaking,” said Emily Curran, executive director of Old South Meeting House since 1992.
On Saturday at 11 a.m., there will be a performance by the Old South Ringers, a handbell choir from Old South Church on Boyston Street in the Back Bay, where the church congregation moved from the meeting house in 1876, taking the original bell with them.
Then on Sunday, the Revere bell will be on public display outside the meeting house from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Then, the celebration will begin at 1 p.m. and include a speech by Mayor Thomas M. Menino and performances by the Old South Church Choir, the Boston Children’s Chorus, the Boston Landmarks Orchestra Brass Ensemble, and the Back Bay Bell Ringers.
The purchase and placement of the bell, and the 2009 restoration of the 1766 tower clock, have been funded by the Storrow family. The clock has been in continuous operation since its installation, except during repairs, and is believed to be the oldest of its kind in New England still in operation in its original location.
For more information, visit http://oldsouthmeetinghouse.org/ or call 617-482-6439.
(Jeremy C. Fox for Boston.com)