The Oldest Bell (In the New World)

A Real Old Ding-Dong
The Bell at St. Stephens Episcopal Church, East Haddam

June 9, 2007

mq18h.jpgDuring a visit to the Nathan Hale Schoolhouse in East Haddam (Report here), where I was quite frankly a little ignored, I learned off-hand that there was a very old bell down the hill. Indeed.

“The bell now hanging in St. Stephens Episcopal Church, on Main Street, East Haddam is thought to be the oldest bell in the New World. It was originally cast for a Spanish monastery in 815 A.D! The, when Napoleon invaded Spain, the church housing the bell was destroyed and the bell left among the rubble.

In 1834, a Yankee sea captain loaded the bell as part of the scrap metal used as ballast for the voyage home. Thus the bell began its trip to Connecticut. Discovered in New York, it was sent by a ship chandler to his wife’s hometown of East Haddam.”

— This was From the East Haddam website which no longer exists. But here’s a ton more on the bell from the church’s website.

And then I stumbled upon it, sat on it for a year, and finally wrote about it 12 months later.

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St. Stephen’s Church

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