- - - -
MORTON SCHOOL - - -
Twp., Richland Co., School District # 1
work on the interior of Morton School House was ongoing
2001, the first major visible event in the restoration
the exterior of the school occurred on March 30, 2002, when a
bell tower was lifted into position atop the old
Under construction during the early months of
the bell tower is just the first step in a process that will
return Morton Schoolhouse to a condition similar to
in the first quarter of the 1900's.
the bell tower was nearing completion, there was a growing
that it might be a bell tower without a bell. A severe
in the 1970s removed a large portion of the schoolhouse
greatly weakening the original bell tower structure and
major repairs to the school building as well. The
tower was removed at this time and the school bell was
as well as many school desks that had been stored in the
of the school. All attempts made to locate the original
School bell were unsuccessful. The best remaining
of the Morton bell and bell tower is a picture
in the late 1940s of one of Genevieve
Morton School classes.
picture was the basis for the replication of the bell tower
provided guidelines in the search for the bell. Many helped
the attempt to locate the Morton bell but there has been no
that the original bell remains in this area. A bell from
local one-room school provided critical information
for the construction of a mounting surface within the
bell tower that would be suitable for a possible future bell
Morton school type. Just as the tower construction was
it's final phase, former Shelby Mayor Mr. Henry Cline
his wife Elsie called to offer the use of their school bell.
been a part of their family for over fifty years. They have
many times during that period and have always made
special place for their bell.
Cline Bell at it's previous home
had been the Cline's plan to donate the bell to the Shelby
but when they heard of the search for the Morton
bell, they kindly offered the use of the bell to the
School Project. It can be used at the schoolhouse for as
as the school has a need for it. If for any reason the school
longer uses the bell, it will then go to the Shelby Museum.
Shelby Mayor Henry Cline inspects his bell's new home
School committee member Ambrose Metzger cleaned
bell and mounted it in the newly finished bell tower. The
bell is visually identical to the one that previously
the old Morton School (as seen in the above 1940s
and is a perfect fit.
weight of the completed structure with the mounted bell
is approximately 1360 pounds. Attachment to the
requires securing the "legs" of the base to two 13
by 8 1/2 inch beams located just under the roof in the attic.
assembly would have to be raised directly over the peak of the
and then carefully lowered so that each of the "legs"
the 4 holes cut in the sheet metal roof. This would require
positioning and the ability to lower the structure in a near
as she goes. . .
- After hearing about
the project, Charles Gwirtz of Gwirtz Crane
- Services volunteered
to donate his time and equipment to this project.
- On this sunny,
but extremely gusty Saturday morning, he arrived with
- the crane and raised
first the base and then the roof section and perfectly
- positioned them
as they were firmly secured to the building.
the upper section was lifted and mounted on the base, the
top flagpole was attached and Old Glory once again waved
- The First
- (l to
r) Ted Clabaugh, Pat Baird, Henry Cline, Ambrose Metzger,
Wheeler, Dean Morse, Fred Mc Kinney Sr.
former students of Morton School were on hand to watch
proceedings, and joined in when Mr. Cline entered the schoolhouse
ring the new Morton School bell for the first time.
- Everyone in attendance
appeared to be quite pleased with
- the sound of the
school bell ringing once again after so
- many years of silence!!
day closed with a golden sunset and many happy memories
this first step and with the thoughts of the many more to come.
Schoolhouse Easter 2002
wish to thank Mr. Henry Cline and his wife Elsie for the
donation of their bell as well as for their many helpful
Charles Gwirtz donated the use of his crane equipment
expertise in the raising of the bell tower.
couldn't have done this without him.
Big Morton School Thank You!
Morton School Restoration project would not be a reality
the support of the people in the Shelby area community.
- Many businesses,
organizations, and groups have joined to help us!
and the Shelby
matched the funds that have been raised for this project.
you, too, to all those who came to watch, help,
share in our excitment!
are grateful for all your support!
Friends of Morton School Committee
you have additional information that you would like to add to
this page, we
be happy to hear from you. Please email us!!
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