Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Pawtucket 09-13-2017

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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2 PAWTUCKET SEPTEMBER 13-19, 2017 | VALLEY BREEZE | PAWTUCKET EDITION Oak Grove Cemetery Lodge at one point. Postle obliged, thinking he might find a vandalized tower or, at best, a small bell that would have to be removed. He said he was stunned when he found himself in a "cavern- ous attic" looking upward to a sealed hatch door. After moving a pipe that was block- ing the ladder, Postle shoved the hatch back with a pole, getting showered with decades worth of dried leaves and bugs. "We were thinking it might be like Geraldo with Al Capone's vault – a bust, because of vandalism or repair, but when I saw the pristine door, I got excited," Postle told The Breeze. "When all the detritus fell on me, I knew it had been a long time since anyone had poked up there .." Postle said he and other searchers "were floored" to see not a tiny bell, but a large bell with a clapper, or gong, that was pulled by a rope. The bell was stationary, but a rope from the gong went through a series of pul- lies. Postle said he couldn't resist reach- ing up with the stick end of a shovel to ring the bell for the first time in who knows how many years. "Wicked cool," he said. Zdravesky scoured the newspa- per archives from 1895 to 1900 and learned that the bell in the lodge was made by the Blake Bell Company of Boston. The com- pany's owner was William Blake, an apprentice of Paul Revere, the metalworker and industrialist best known for alerting the Colonial mili- tia that the British were coming. After apprenticing with Revere, Blake established his own company, called William Blake & Co. until about 1890. It was later called the Blake Bell Company, said Zdravesky. She said she doesn't know the exact year the Oak Grove Bell was made, but assumes it was commissioned when the lodge was built, since there was a dispute about the cost of it in 1896. The city's original budget for the bell was $23, but as often happens with a public project, the price tag ended up higher, at $52.50, according to the Sept. 24, 1896, edition of The Providence Journal. There was some dispute about whether the city would actually pay the bill because the cost was higher than expected. On Aug. 14, 1895, the Joint Standing Committee on City Property autho- rized the use of $1,800 to erect in Oak Grove Cemetery "a building for the use of the superintendent of the cemetery as a public waiting room," according to newspaper accounts and City Council journals provided by Zdravesky. Of that sum, $90 was paid to architect Frederick G. Daniels "for services and drawings in the erection of the Oak Grove Cemetery lodge" and $52.50 for a bell in the lodge. The lodge was designed to be one- story with a belfry (where the bell is installed). It was built by Rollings & Co. of Pawtucket for $1,572. Zdravesky said St. Paul Church on Park Place also has a Paul Revere foundry bell, a bell created around 1800 in Revere's foundry. Postle called Sept. 2 an "amazing day of discovery" in the cemetery at the intersection of Cottage Street and Central Avenue. He said the find came as a result of great teamwork between the Pawtucket Preservation Society BELL From Page One Local lovers of history found this bell from the BLAKE BELL COMPANY of Boston when they went exploring at the Oak Grove Cemetery Lodge on Sept. 2. The bell company's owner was William Blake, an apprentice of Paul Revere. The OAK GROVE CEMETERY LODGE as it appeared in 1905. Back then, the bell was clearly visible at the top of the building. Cemetery volunteer KEN POSTLE looks up through the hatch after busting it open and discovering the bell. See DISCOVERY, Page 19 S STANLEY TREE • Professional High Quality Service At Reasonable Rates • Licensed Arborists • Serving RI & Nearby M ass. • Our Team Of Professionals Is Fully Equipped To Handle Your Job In A Safe Efficient Manner Fully Insured Free Estimates N. Smithfield, Office Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8-4 401-765-4677 Since 1986 Affordable Solutions for Your Tree Problems TREE REMOVAL EXPERTS Plant Health Care Spraying/Fertilization Tree Removal Tree Removal Pruning Pruning Cabling Cabling Brush Mowing Brush Mowing Stump Grinding Stump Grinding Crane Service Crane Service

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