WILTON – St. Luke’s Episcopal Church will dedicate the Founders Bell at 9:45 a.m. Sunday, June 26.

Although it is now housed in a newly covered and landscaped frame on the church’s front lawn, the bell has a long history.

It originally rang for services at the Baptist Church on Bridge Street in West Farmington.

When the Farmington Grange bought the building in 1938, Dr. Atherton Ross purchased the bell and set it up at his camp at Clearwater Lake. Later Lewis Coffin bought the camp and gave the bell to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Coffin of Ashland.

Their daughter, Kay Mills of Wilton, said that they donated it in the 1950s to the newly-formed St. Luke’s Mission, then located on Main Street in Farmington. In 1985 the bell was housed on a platform in front of the church.

When St. Luke’s bought the former St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church building and moved to Wilton in 1994, the bell went along. Three of the founders of St. Luke’s, John and Betty Knox and Dr. Philip Chase, were especially interested in putting the bell where it could be protected, seen and rung again.

Now, after the deaths of Mr. Knox and Dr. Chase, through the leadership of Betty Knox the project has been completed. Warren Bogardus has painted it and, with help from Robert Condon, has it ready to ring, which will happen for the first time in many years on Sunday morning.

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