AUBURN — The 161-year-old bell atop the Androscoggin County Courthouse will ring once again after decades of silence.

Facilities director David Cote will hand-wind the bell and turn it on to ring at noon Tuesday.

It will toll on the hour every day from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m.

The ringing of the bell is the final piece of the clock tower-restoration project completed late last year. 

While much of that work entailed repairing the tower and the clock, the only restoration done the the bell was to clean it.

“No part of the bell has been manufactured to today’s standards,” Cote said.


Built in the Renaissance Revival style, the courthouse was built in 1856 and opened a year later. The bell, installed when the building open, was built by Henry N. Hooper Co. of Boston. Hooper was apprentice to Paul Revere and later bought the Revere Foundry where the bells were made.

“It was one of the last bells they hand-made,” Cote said.

Having researched the subject and other aspects of the courthouse, Cote said the company would soon mass assemble their bells.

The county courthouse bell has not rung on the hour since the early 1980s. 

It did ring once in 2010 upon the retirement of Justice Thomas E. Delahanty II, when Cote manually rang the ball 27 times for each year Delahanty presided over the Androscoggin Superior Court.

Like the clock, which now shows the correct on all four faces, Cote will need to hand-wind the bell every Friday.  Each requires 10 turns on a crank located in the tower.

Winding the clock takes three minutes, but the bell, because of its weight, could take about 10 minutes to complete, Cote said.

A bell manufactured by the Henry N. Hooper Company of Boston sits in the clock tower of the Androscoggin County Courthouse in 2012. The company was one of the successors of the Revere Foundry of Boston, founded by Paul Revere.

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