Clifton Park contributes to bell repairs

The Clifton Park Town Board voted unanimously Monday, June 16, to spend $2,130 to repair the Grace Episcopal Church bell before it is displayed in the Jonesville Cemetery.

The bell is a significant contribution to the cemetery, said Ed Hughes, vice president of the Jonesville Cemetery Association.

In honor of the bell's 125th anniversary, the Clifton Park town board voted unanimously Monday, May 5, to permanently display the bronze bell in the Jonesville Cemetery located on Ushers Road.

The association met with the Town Board several times since October to advocate for placing the bell in the cemetery.

Built in 1883, the bell was a gift from the Chorister Boys of Christ Church in Ballston Spa.

"To have this bell in the town of Clifton Park is an honor to us," said Supervisor Phil Barrett before voting to display the bell in the cemetery.

Inscribed in the bronze bell is the phrase, "Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward men."

Constructed by Clinton H. Meneely Bell Co. in Troy, the bell moved to Charlton after the closure of Grace Episcopal in 1968, when the Rev. Leon Cartmell, the pastor of Burnt Hills Episcopal Church acquired it.

Cartmell had the bell installed at the Mission House in Charlton where it stayed until 1982, when the Charlton Historical Society obtained it.

When Clifton Park Town Historian John Scherer learned of the bell's whereabouts, he arranged to have it brought back to Clifton Park, where it remained tucked away in a barn.

Hughes noted on several occasions in presentations to the Town Board that the bell should be rung at least twice a day, at noon and 6 p.m. He also said the bell could be rung during funerals.

During his discussions with the Town Board, Hughes provided several justifications for hanging the bell in the Jonesville Cemetery, including more than 20 letters from Jonesville residents urging the town to place the bell in Jonesville.

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