The Bell Tower

Elevator CompletedThe Friends of the Three Bears have worked to raise funds and awareness of the restoration projects needed to the Historic Seneca County Courthouse Complex three buildings.  Both financial support and sweat equity with partnering with the county has completed another item on the wish list – installation of an elevator! Papa Bear where the courthouse and jail are located are now handicapped accessible which means everyone can enjoy the rich history of the building and participate in community programs.

The next big project is the restoration of the cupola and installation of the bell back into the tower.  The Bell has been refurbished and is currently housed in the front of the building. The Ovid Bee newspaper reported on October 8, 1845, “The new Courthouse has been completed and a Court of Pleas is now in session. The Courthouse as erected is comprised of two stories and an attic with a substantial stone jail in the cellar.  Its cupola contains a fine bell, rung at the commencement of court-sessions. It was manufactured at the works of Cowling & Co., in Seneca Falls.  The whole dome is topped with a weathervane that is still atop the structure. “ The bell was rung at the beginning of court session and to commemorate special events in the community of Ovid and in Seneca County.

Bell TowerThe Seneca County Board of Supervisors has approved funding to restore the cupola, also known as the bell tower, and secure the weathervane. Over the years, the Friends have held several fundraisers earmarked  for this project and we’re looking forward it to go out to bid. Thank you to everyone who supported this renovation project.

Enjoy the photographs and video below of the ringing of the bell in its current location in front of Papa Bear.

Bell 2020