New bell arrives at Asylum Hill Congregational Church

06/22/1871 |


The new bell for the Asylum Hill Congregational Church arrived. Manufactured by Veazey & White, in East Hampton, CT, the bell was heavy, in the key of C, and had some sort of mechanism that allowed the clapper to strike different points on the bell.

Neat little tidbit

Of note, the Courant referred to the church as the “Asylum Avenue Congregational Church,” something it would do often during this period. The Courant would also commonly refer to the church as the “Asylum Hill Church.”

Trust but verify

The printing on this article was lousy, so some of the description of the bell is illegible.  This article seemed to say the bell weighed over 4,000 pounds, but in 1897 the Courant reported that it weighed 3,500 pounds – close, but enough of a difference to cause some uncertainty. 

Then there’s that “patent arrangement” that allowed the clapper (“tongue” in the article) to strike the bell in different places.  This was a special feature of the bell, but for the life of me I can’t make out the critical component of this arrangement.

The article reported that the bell would be hoisted into place on June 23, and it anticipated that the bell would be rung for church services on June 25.  Although I haven’t found any contemporary article about the installation of the bell or to the bell tolling for the first time, the predicted dates in this article are also cited in the 1940 Courant article by Melva Swartz (and yes, this article could well have been her source!).

Question to pose

Did Christopher C. Lyman donate the funds for the bell?

Put into context

The bell was installed five years after the church was dedicated and four years before a neighbor would complain about it.


Swartz, Melva J., “Hill Church Will Observe Anniversary,” Hartford Courant, March 18, 1940, page 1.

Unattributed, “Gift of Mrs. Turner,” Hartford Courant, July 14, 1897, page 4.

Unattributed, “History of the Hill Church – F. Irvin Davis Gives It in Brief,” Hartford Courant, March 2, 1908, page 4.

Unattributed, “New Bell,” Hartford Daily Courant, June 23, 1871, page 2.

Unattributed, “Rev. Dr. Joseph H. Twichell Honored at Anniversary of His Church,” Hartford Courant, March 24, 1915, page 16.

Asylum Hill Congregational Church


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