At the bell tower this week

The first 23 bells destined for the top of the Mahanay Memorial Carillon Tower will arrive in Jefferson from Cincinnati Wednesday, but the delivery date of the remaining 18 bells was still not known as of Monday.

On the first trailer will be the nine bells that were taken down from the top of the tower last fall. Those bells had already been inscribed but had no strikers. They’re now ready to ring.

Also on the first trailer will be the 15 bells that sat in a display case in the courthouse for decades. They’re also inscribed with donors’ names and ready for installation.

It’s the last 18 bells, those that were only recently cast by the Petit-Fritzen foundry in Holland, for which county engineer Wade Weiss couldn’t name a delivery date. The bells were delayed in New York after being sent by ship from Holland.

Weiss said the inscribing was being done on those bells Monday and Tuesday of this week and the bells will be trucked to Jefferson.

Much work unseen by the public has already been done in preparation for hanging the bells. Painting and electrical work will wrap up Wednesday, and the smaller bells may be hung Wednesday afternoon.

The crew from Verdin Company will work through the holiday weekend and finish the project Wednesday, May 31.

The full carillon will be dedicated at the opening ceremony of the Bell Tower Festival Friday, June 9, at 6:30 pm.

The Mahanay Memorial Carillon Tower will be one of only three complete carillons in Iowa, and the only one on which the bells are easily seen.

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