Aspen History: The Original Fire Bell, 1886 |

Aspen History: The Original Fire Bell, 1886

Aspen Historical Society

“The Gillespie bell was Wednesday placed upon the tower erected for its reception and its clear full tone rang out so all could hear,” announced the Aspen Times on April 17, 1886. “The whole town turned out to see it raised to its position. It required four horses to lift the heavy weight with pulleys, but it was taken up without any mishaps. The bell is not fixed but swings as any other bell, and is provided with two clappers. This can be rung at any interval whatever, and will be used for tolling and giving fire alarms. The bell was cast by the Jones Troy Bell Foundry company of Troy, New York, and was presented to the fire department by H.B. Gillespie, whose name is inscribed therein. The bell alone weighs one ton and seventy pounds, which is eight hundred pounds more than the Leadville bell, and with its mountings the weight is thirty hundred and thirty-five pounds. The firemen and citizens all should thank Mr. Gillespie for giving to the city the finest bell in the west.” This photograph shows the J.D. Hooper Hook and Ladder Company in front of the fire tower (which was also the location of City Hall), circa 1888. The bell can be seen at the top of the tower.

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