The Friends of the Crawford Town Hall have their sight set on a new goal: getting the historic schoolhouse bell returned to the old school building and the current town hall and community center. Now that the town hall has been renovated, many in the community want to see the bell back at the original location, town trustee Hetty Todd explained. "This is something we need to do for the people," she said.
She alerted the other trustees to the move at the May 3 council meeting. She asked for assistance from the town in moving and placing the bell. The bell, estimated to weigh about 500 pounds, will be too heavy to hang in the existing bell tower where it once hung, so instead the town and Friends group plan to have a display stand built using some of the reclaimed rock that was removed during the town hall renovation. Town trustees directed the public works crew to help move the bell once the Friends group is ready to do so.
"It's a priority to get it moved and get it back home," said Mayor Wanda Gofforth. "The bell has been gone a long time."
Some funding is needed to build the new display structure, but they aren't sure yet how much that will cost, explained Gofforth, who is also a member of the Friends group. Donations are being accepted at this time, and may be dropped off at the town hall or mailed to the town at P.O. Box 56, Crawford CO 81415.
The bell is currently housed at the North Fork Montessori @ Crawford school, and is still in working condition. In 1924, the graduating class at that time purchased the bell for the school, according to Todd. (That class also installed the stone "C" on C Hill.) The bell hung at the school until the new school was constructed in 1981; the bell was rededicated to the community in 1982, according to a plaque hung beneath the bell.
Thanks to the efforts of state Rep. Millie Hamner, House District 61, Colorado State University plans to re-open the Rogers Mesa research site.
The facility was taken out of operation in 2011, due to budget cuts throughout the CSU system.