At the First Unitarian Church in Hyde Park, Chicago, I climbed this ladder to reach their bell.
And then I climbed this ladder.
Actually, no, I didn’t. I chickened out. A fear of heights is not a good trait paired with the love of bells. Sometimes I overcome it, and sometimes I don’t.
I was very fortunate in that Rev. David Schwartz, the pastor at First Unitarian, had photos of the bells already, which he kindly shared with me. Their bell was cast by Meneely of Watervliet in 1930. The close-up photos show off their details magnificently.
The First Unitarian Church in Chicago has a claim to fame in the Chicago bell world—their first church building on 87-93 Washington Street (where the Daley Plaza is now) possessed the first church bell in the entire city when it was installed in January 1845.*
Thanks, Rev. Schwartz, for showing me your bell!
*Henry Higgins Hurlbut. Chicago Antiquities: Comprising Original Items and Relations, Letters, Extracts and Notes Pertaining to Early Chicago. Chicago, 1881.