Last fall, we worked with the National Bell Festival to climb and document the state of our historic bell tower. We discovered electric chimes in the belfry, but there is no structure from which to hang the actual bell. Moreover, we know that GLC did not have possession of its bell when the current church was built in 1914 -- it was only returned to us in 1937.
The bell is also in pretty rough shape. It has a crack, which is decades old and has been repaired. It also sat outdoors in the rain for 50+ years in Georgetown, and likely longer when it resided in West Virginia. This has caused a lot of rust to build up.
Armed with this knowledge, we know that the bell can no longer be exposed to the elements, and can't be returned to regular service either. So your GLC leaders decided to take the only possible next step: planning for permanent display of the bell inside the building.
We've received extensive help from the National Bell Festival in this effort, and on April 29, the bell was picked up from GLC for transportation to the B.A. Sunderlin Bellfoundry, in Ruther Glen, Virginia. The foundry will analyze the bell, to determine the severity of the crack. They will also determine its metal composition, age, and whether it bears an inscription linking it to GLC. And finally, they will help us identify how it can be cleaned, restored and displayed here at the church.
You can track the bell's progress at National Bell Festival's site, and check out the photos below.