Eagle Archives, Sept. 26, 1942: Bell will clang last time for salvage and then become part of salvage pile itself

LEE -- The salvage collection in Lee will start tomorrow, not with the proverbial bang, but with a lusty clang. At 1:30 p.m. the drive will officially begin when a 500-pound bronze bell, made in 1871 by the Meneely Foundry Company of West Troy, N.Y., will ring out from a tower of the Eagle Mill. At this signal, the trucks and helpers who are to assemble at the park will go to the various parts of town to make their "haul for victory."

The ringing of the large old bell will be its death knoll and will end its interesting history. As soon as it has rung out over the town for the last time, waiting ropes and tackle will dislodge it from the brick tower and it will be lowered into a truck and be hauled off to the salvage depot. Over 70 years ago, when clocks were scarce, it tolled every hour of the night to mark the time for the workers in the vicinity, and during the day it rang at 6:55 and 7 a.m., noon, 12:55, 1 and 6 p.m.

In those days a wooden factory operated where the Eagle Mill now stands. This was followed by a shoe factory. Some years later it was transferred from the old wooden tower to the present brick tower opposite the main machine shop, now the Smith Paper, Inc.

Finally its nocturnal knelling disturbed the slumbers of the second wife of one of the prominent citizens of Lee, but it continued to ring during the day until the turn of the century. The old bell has been donated by the Smith Paper, Inc., in conjunction with the campaign which has been organized by Superintendent of Schools Charles A. Miller and his committee and should be a valuable contribution to the critical war material situation.

Any interested citizens are invited to attend its demise from the tower.