Pleasant Hull Memorial Bell - University of Georgia
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member ChapterhouseInc
N 33° 57.401 W 083° 22.531
17S E 280491 N 3759895
Quick Description: Historic Victory Bell on the north campus quad of this Athens University.
Location: Georgia, United States
Date Posted: 9/7/2009 4:17:38 PM
Waymark Code: WM7658
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 2

Long Description:
In memory of Pleasant Hull
colorful and traditional bellringer and janitor
Typical in faithfulness and loyalty of many servants of the University
May 1951
UGA aims to patch up bell before next game
By Lee Shearer | | Story updated at 11:22 PM on Monday, October 29, 2007

The victory-tolling bell that hangs behind the University of Georgia Chapel should be repaired and returned to its tower in time for Saturday's homecoming match-up against Troy University.

But the 172-year-old bell may not get a permanent fix until after football season ends.

The bell's yoke broke Saturday night as students and fans rang to celebrate UGA's 42-30 win over the Florida Gators.

A platform on the North Campus tower prevented the bell from falling on the rope-tuggers below, but the fracture cut short the celebratory ringing.

Since the early 1900s, fans have made it a tradition to ring the chapel bell after Georgia football victories.

UGA Physical Plant workers removed the bell from its tower Monday morning and took it, along with the cast-iron pieces of the yoke, to the Physical Plant welding department.

The yoke broke where the bell attaches to a wheel device that swings from side to side, so the night's revelry apparently snapped the stress point after more than a century of accumulated wear and tear, said Doug Roberts, foreman of UGA's welding department.

The side of the bell is stamped 1835, three years after the chapel was built.

The bell was cast by the G.H. Holbrook of Medway, Mass., a company that went out of business in 1951, Roberts said Monday.

"We looked it up this morning," he said.

UGA workers plan to weld the broken iron pieces together, reinforce the weld, then re-install the bell in the tower so it will be available for ringing after Georgia's final four football games, said Jim Nielson, an assistant director in the UGA Physical Plant.

The job will require workers to bevel the edges of the broken pieces, preheat the broken parts to 400 degrees, then painstakingly fill the gap with a molten nickel alloy. Once workers begin to weld the yoke, which is about 4 inches thick, they must complete the job without a break, he said.

UGA may have a new yoke cast after football season is over, if physical plant administrators can find a company that will do it, Nielson said.

Workers didn't know exactly how much the bell weighed Monday morning, Roberts said.

"It's heavy, I can tell you that right now," Roberts said after workers hauled the bell from North Campus to the welding shop in UGA's Chicopee Building.

Saturday was the first time the bell broke, Roberts said.

The rope used to pull the bell broke as fans celebrated UGA's national championship win over Notre Dame in the 1981 Sugar Bowl, and the bell has been in the shop for minor repairs before, he said.

The wooden bell tower itself was completely rebuilt in 1996, said UGA spokesman Larry Dendy.

The bell once hung in a belfry atop UGA's Chapel, but was removed to a bell tower behind the chapel in 1913 when the belfry was found to be rotten, according to historical accounts.

For many years the bell was used to signal the beginning and end of class periods, to summon students to chapel and to mark special occasions.

The first recorded use of the bell to mark a football win came in 1901, according to the late UGA historian John Stegeman.

At first, freshmen were made to ring the bell, but later football bell-ringing became a voluntary task.

Published in the Athens Banner-Herald on 103007

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Historic UGA Chapel Bell returns this week
Writer: Larry B. Dendy, 706/542-8078,
Contact: Tom Satterly, 706/542-7369,
Aug 12, 2008, 15:47

Athens, Ga. – Gleaming brightly and safely secured in a sturdy new tower, the historic University of Georgia Chapel Bell will be back in place when fall semester classes start Aug. 18 and ready to celebrate a victory when the Georgia Bulldogs play their first football game Aug. 30.

A new bell tower, meticulously hand-built by UGA physical plant workers, will be erected behind the Chapel beginning Wednesday morning. The 173-year-old bell, cleaned and polished to a brilliant sheen, will be installed Friday. Physical plant workers will give it a ceremonial “first ring” at 3 p.m. Friday.

The bell and old tower were taken down last spring when university officials decided the tower, which dated back to about 1913, could no longer safely hold the 700-pound bronze bell. Over the summer, physical plant workers spent many hours building a new tower, which closely resembles the original in height (40 feet) and shape.

Tom Satterly, assistant vice president for physical plant, said the new tower uses a newly manufactured mechanism to suspend the bell that is similar to the original yoke resting in two A-frames. But he said the new tower, made of tough Douglas fir, will be much stronger and safer because it incorporates modern engineering standards that ensure the bell won’t jump out of its moorings, as happened last fall when Bulldog fans rang it for hours after Georgia’s victory over Florida.

Satterly said the new tower has a roof that matches the Chapel roof. A new, stronger wheel will rotate the bell, and there is a new rope to pull the bell.

Workers in several physical plant shops including carpentry, sheet-metal, welding and roofing helped build the new tower. Ralph Johnson, associate vice president for physical plant, commended the construction crew and all the other workers who participated in the task.

“All the employees who worked on this project took great personal, painstaking interest to ensure the quality of the work,” Johnson said. “They put a lot of pride into this, and Georgia fans owe them a big thank you for their dedication and hard work.”

Satterly said some wood from the original tower has been saved and may be used in future restorations of historic university buildings.

While the tower was being built, the bell–cast in 1835 in Medway, Mass.– was in Cincinnati, Ohio, for a thorough refurbishing. Workers at the Verdin Co., a firm that specializes in bell restorations, removed years of accumulated rust and grime, including remnants of paint reputedly used by Georgia Tech students to paint slogans on the bell in the 1920s. Polished and covered with a preservative, the formerly greyish-black bell now has a radiant golden luster.

Physical plant workers moved the new tower to the Chapel Tuesday afternoon and work will begin Wednesday to mount it on a concrete foundation. By Thursday afternoon it should be completely erected and rigging for the bell will be installed. The bell will be brought back to the site and installed Friday morning.

Representatives from the various physical plant departments involved in building the tower and refurbishing the bell will jointly pull the bell rope at 3 p.m. for the ceremonial first ring, and the bell will be ready for celebration when Georgia plays Georgia Southern University in Sanford Stadium on Aug. 30.

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Still Operational: yes

Number of bells in tower?: 1

Rate tower:

Tours or visits allowed in tower?: No

Address of Tower: Not listed

Relevant website?: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
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