previous next
[p. 66] be readily seen that with a ringer to each bell of a chime of twelve or sixteen, the service became that of an organized and drilled company, with reserves to depend upon. By the way the Grace Church bells are hung and chimed one person, with the music score before him, performs the work. Two upright posts upon the floor, and two crossbars between them, through which the ropes are strung, an attachment for maintaining the proper tensions, together with angle cranks, complete the simple apparatus. With a firm grasp and a quick horizontal pull upon the proper ropes (attached to the bell tongues) the player renders the various airs of his repertory.

Excellent as is this chime, and beautiful as is the architectural design of Grace Church, it is to be regretted that these bells are so near the ground, and below the steep roof of the edifice. Were they in a campanile, like that of Goddard Chapel, at Tufts College (even though not on a hill), their tones might, like the

bells of Shandon
Sound so grand on
The pleasant waters of the river—Mystic,

and be more plainly heard, and to a greater distance, than they are.

The knells for the dead are tolled on thetenor bell by a muffled hammer, upon the approach of a funeral cortege, otherwise the full chime is used, as the varied music demands. It is said that their first use was on a wedding occasion. The names of the various players are to me unknown, save that on the occasion of my visit of inspection Mr. Clarence Bearse was thus serving. During their forty years of use the work must have been performed by several others whose service deserves recognition.

In all there have been thirty-six Medford bells, of which number twenty-seven are now in service.

The ancient custom of tolling the bell to announce a death in the town (a different number of strokes for a man, woman or child, followed by the number of their

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Glendower (Ohio, United States) (1)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Clarence Bearse (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: