Original school bell ringing once again

Niki WolfeNewcomerstown News Published:

Now that the 2012 Newcomerstown Trojans' football season has come to an end, some visitors to Lee Stadium may have wondered how the victory bell came to be.

The bell -- which has since been renamed victory bell and it is tradition to "ring" the bell when a Trojan team wins -- was taken from the old Union School in Newcomerstown, which was dismantled in the 1920s and four houses were constructed from the wood. The school was located at the current site of the East Elementary School in the village. It was the first consolidated school in Newcomerstown and dates back to 1855.

The bell was removed from the school at one time and stored in an old barn near Newcomerstown. It was in the early 1970s that Clyde Barthalow and Dennis Bell removed the bell from the barn and had Heller Bros. Co. in Newcomerstown professionally clean it.

Bernard Booth, a local contractor in Newcomerstown and supporter of Newcomerstown athletics, constructed the covering or gazebo over the victory bell for the Newcomerstown Exempted Village School District back in 1974.

For his efforts, the Newcomerstown Board of Education recognized Booth with a "Special Contribution Award" in 1974.

It was two years ago when Booth's daughter Brenda, a 1978 graduate of Newcomerstown High School, and husband Rick Casteel, a 1977 graduate of Newcomerstown High School, refurbished the gazebo with the copper roofing custom-made by Greg Gallagher of Midvale.

Over the years, the bell has been rung by the Trojans' football team who were successful in their football game many times.

But for many Trojan fans, they want to hear the bell ring after every game.

Go Trojans!

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