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Garfield’s Victory Bell


In 1969 the Journal published an article about the Garfield School bell.

For four years the Garfield School bell rang atop Garrettsville School. At first, the rope dangled into the vestibule of the old school built in the 1880’s. Then it hung through a hole in the ceiling of the second floor corridor of the building constructed in 1869.
You could hear the ringing of the bell throughout the town. The first bell rang rapidly and for several minutes. It served as a wake-up call for those sleepy heads to rise and shine. The last bell tolled slowly nine times. Students throughout the village raced to school, knowing the ugly buzz of the tardy bell would take the place of the number ten bong.
Then one day the bell was silenced. A new high school housed the high school students and the elementary and junior high students at the Garrettsville building were on different time schedules. The old bell wasn’t needed any longer.

When the Garfield class of ’68 put on their caps and gowns for graduation there was money in their treasury. After discussing possibilities of doing something for the alma mater they spoke with long-time teacher, Buck Pelsue and agreed to try to move Garrettsville School bell to the Garfield football field where it could ring again—ring for school spirit and ring for victory.
After receiving permission from the Board of Education to move the bell they contacted Burt Frank from Ravenna. When the old building was in the process of being torn down, Frank lowered the bell.

It was taken by Don McCullough and his wrecker to Mrs. Earl Pelsue’s garage and stored while the bell tower at the football field was designed by John Layer, a member of the Class of ’68 and an architectural design student at Kent State University.

By fall, construction on the bell tower was started by masonry experts John Porter and Bill Kothera who used bricks from the old school building. Paul Bouts dug the footer and John and Dennis Pochedly worked with the men to put on the roof of cedar shake shingles donated by George Macek.

The bell — estimated weight of more than a ton — was moved again by Tom McCullough and placed in the tower. On September 27, 1969 Garfield whipped Kent State University High School 39 to 0. The bell was rung 39 times. That bell still rings for Garfield’s winning scores at the soccer and football games.