Samuel Parkman Gifted a Paul Revere Bell to Reverend Ebenezer Parkman’s Westborough Church


Samuel Parkman (above) also commissioned Gilbert Stuart to do an oil portrait of George Washington that is displayed today at The Boston Museum of Fine Arts (see page one of )

Paul Revere – Patriot & Silver Smith

Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride – The British Are Coming !

Paul Revere’s house in Boston

Old South Meeting House – Boston – Mass

Old South Interior

Paul Revere Bell @ Old South

Old South Plaque

Old South – National Register Historic Landmark – plaque

Old South is on The Freedom Trail (as is Copp’s Hill Cemetery where William Parkman is buried)

Paul Revere & Son – Cannon Foundry Trade Card

“Paul Revere Ride” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – Statue

Paul Revere Statue @ Old North Church Boston

The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere – One if by land two if by Sea – The British are Coming

1801 Paul Revere Bell @ Old South

Boston Mayor Menino & James Storrow @ Old South

Emily Curran Ex. Dir. @ Old South

Raising @ Old South

On display @ Old South

On display @ Old South

The new bell wheel @ Old South

Raising @ Old South

Contrast of old bell and modern sky scraper @ raising @ old South

Samuel Parkman Donated a Paul Revere Bell to Reverend Ebenezer Parkman’s Westborough Church (Sam was Eb’s son)

Paul Revere Bell Returns to Boston

Here’s the moment we were all waiting for! The 1801 Paul Revere bell was lifted to the steeple of Old South Meeting House on Sunday, October 16, at 2pm! Thanks to the teams at Northland Restoration, Marr Eqiupment Company, Wendell Kalsow and Associates, and The Clock Shop. And, of course, our most heartfelt thanks to the Storrow Family and to Jeff Makholm for their generosity.

One of 46 surviving bells made by Paul Revere’s foundry before his death found a new home at Boston’s Old South Meeting House, the famed place where the Boston Tea Party began. The 876-pound Paul Revere bell, made in 1801, was acquired from the First Baptist Church of Westborough, Massachusetts. The bell was connected to the original 1766 tower clock and will once again ring out the hour as it did in Colonial Boston.

To view Multimedia News Release, go to…


“Let Freedom Ring!”

A Paul Revere Bell comes to
Old South Meeting House
lowered from the belfry of the white clapboard First Baptist Church of
Westborough and placed on a truck to begin a journey to its new home
in Boston: the Old South Meeting
House. 210 years earlier, the same
bell had made the reverse journey
from Boston to Westborough in the
back of a horse-drawn wagon.

Old South Meeting House presents
The story of this remarkable bell began with
Samuel Parkman, one of Boston’s wealthiest
merchants. Parkman had grown up in
Westborough as the 12th child of the Reverend
Ebenezer Parkman. His father had served as
Westborough’s minister for 58 years as the
small Puritan parish grew into a thriving New
England village. Samuel Parkman had gone on
to make a fortune in real estate and in 1801, at
the age of 50, he decided to commission a bell
for the town’s meeting house.

To order a fitting new bell, Samuel Parkman
went to the foundry of Boston patriot and
silversmith Paul Revere, at the corner of Foster
and Lynn Streets in the city’s North End. Paul
Revere had opened the foundry in 1788, and his
earliest cast iron items were window weights,
grates, firebacks and stove components. By
1792, he went on to make cannons and his first
church bell. By 1801, he had mastered the art of
bell casting and his Boston bells were the pride
of New England.

A Bell Raising
October 14-16, 2011

Join us for activities and
programming honoring the
On August 14, 1801, Mr. Parkman paid $389.33
for an 876 pound bell, the 48th church bell
created by Paul Revere’s Bell and Cannon
Foundry. Revere often brought his clients to the
yard of his Charter Street house to test their new
bells. One can imagine the dapper Parkman and
the craftsman Revere standing next to a freshly
polished bronze bell hearing its solemn tone for
the first time. (FALL 2011 • VOLUME)

Although bell casting was a
small part of Revere’s foundry
operations, it was far more
complicated than simple
ironworking. Memoranda
books, correspondence, and
bank books from the foundry
outline in great detail the
daily operations of this
unique enterprise. The Revere
Company made over 900 bells
of all sizes from 1792 through
the 1840s, from hand bells
weighing a few pounds to
massive church bells weighing
over 2000 pounds.

bells were the most difficult to
cast, often weighing more than
500 pounds. They were cast
from bell metal, a particular
hard form of bronze usually
made of 78% copper and
22% tin.

Church bells were vital to
the community as a means
of communication and were
held in the highest esteem as
technological and auditory
wonders. No two church
bells ever sounded the same,
and some towns came to
recognize the unique tone of
each church’s bell.

As historian
Robert Martello writes in
Midnight Ride, Industrial
Dawn, with the production of
bells, “Revere could serve his
religion, his society, and his
bank account at the same time.”

In 1801, no steeple, belfry, or
other structure penetrated the
sky of Westborough above the
height of an average roof. In
order to accept the generous
gift of a new bell, the town
added a steeple to their
meeting house, the first home
of the Paul Revere bell.

The people of Westborough
came to rely on their bell in its
very first years of service in the Old Meetinghouse. The
bell was rung on the Sabbath
at 9:30 am and again when the
minister walked to the pulpit
to begin services. In 1807 the
town voted to ring the bell
each night at 9 pm in service
to the wider community.

Paul Revere bell was used
first by the First Church of
Westborough, then by the
First Baptist Church, and over
the years, both congregations
moved the bell to a series
of structures. The bell was
sold to the Baptist Society in
December of 1849 for a sum of
$173.00, less than half of what
Mr. Parkman paid in 1801.

In 1938, a forceful hurricane
blew the steeple off of the
First Baptist Church on West
Main Street, tossing the steeple
and its bell into the cemetery
across the road. The well-made
bell was unharmed.

In October, the bell will be
lifted into the belfry of Old
South Meeting House and
carefully connected to a
finely crafted new bell wheel
and the historic 1766 Gawen
Brown tower clock by a team
The bell is delivered to its new
home, Old South Meeting House,
on June 25, 2011.

The generous support of the
Storrow Family has ensured
that the 1801 Paul Revere
Bell originally created for
Westborough has found a
permanent home at the Old
South Meeting House. The
bell has been on exhibit at
Old South Meeting House all
summer, visible for a limited viewing.

1801 Paul Revere Bell will
begin a new chapter in its
storied life, ringing from the
tower of one of Boston’s most
famous historical sites. For the
first time in over 135 years, a
bell will ring out from the Old
South Meeting House once
again, recreating the sounds
of colonial Boston for millions
who pass by today.

Paul Revere @ First Baptist Church Westborough

(The restoration team gets a close look at the headstock,
which supports the bell and attaches it to its wheel.)

(The bell is lowered from the belfry
of the First Baptist Church in
Westborough on June 23, 2011.)>





Westborough First Baptist Church the day the Paul Revere Bell was removed. Church closed in 2007 and bell removed in 2011.

The Journey of the Paul Revere Bell: Part 1

This video chronicles the removal of the 1801 Paul Revere bell from the First Baptist Church of Westborough, Massachusetts, on its journey to a new home at Old South Meeting House in Boston, Massachusetts.
Scenes were filmed by OSMH staff on June 23, 2011.
Featured music by The Beggar Boys.

The last time the Paul Revere Bell rang in Westborough, Mass before trip to Boston’s Old South Meeting House>

Westborough Paul Revere Bell is Bound for Boston
Historical bell to ring out in revered revolutionary gathering place.
By Trish Reske Email the author June 9, 2011

The 876-pound bell originally cast by silversmith and patriot Paul Revere will soon be taking a historic ride from the First Baptist Church belfry in Westborough to its new home at the Old South Meeting House in Boston.

Known as the place where the Boston Tea Party began in 1773, the landmark Old South Meeting House has operated as a non-profit museum since 1877 and continues to be a thriving public gathering space for freedom of speech. The First Baptist Church has reached an agreement with Old South Meeting House on the purchase of the bell.

“We’ve been working on restoration of the Meeting House Tower and its magnificent 1766 Tower Clock,” said Emily Curran, executive director at the Old South Meeting House. “As part of that restoration we had very much wanted to return a bell to the tower. Old South Meeting House has not had a bell since 1876, for over 100 years. We had started to make plans to have a new bell cast, when we heard about the historic bell in Westborough. It’s very exciting.”

According to the Westborough Historical Commission, the Westborough bell is one of only 26 bells known to be cast by Paul Revere himself, and one of only ten whose whereabouts have been documented to date.

“The Westborough bell is older than the bell that’s currently at the Paul Revere house,” remarked Paula Skogg of the Historical Commission. “If it can’t stay in Westborough then this is the very best place it could possibly be going, back to Boston to the oldest clock tower in the country,” she added.

While details of the moving and installation of the bell are still underway, the hope is to move the bell to Boston within the month.

“As a museum and historic site, we are very mindful of the unique history of the Westborough Paul Revere Bell, and will preserve both the bell and its history here in Boston for generations to come,” said Curran. She added that the Old South Meeting House plans to invite the people of Westborough to special events that will celebrate the bell and its history.

Once installed in the restored tower, the Tower Clock will strike the bell hourly, ringing out in the streets of Boston.

“This bell is really going to be heard by a huge number of people. It will be well-loved and well-used,” said Curran.

“It’s like returning Paul Revere to Boston in the form of the bell,” said Dave Nelson, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the former First Baptist Church. “It’s going to be an important moment in Westborough history as well as Boston.”

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