FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
17 August 2015
Contact: Steve Lipsher, Public Information Officer
Office: (970) 262-5209
Lake Dillon Fire re-christens historic bell
An historic bell that once rang in the old town of Dillon for fires and other emergencies has been restored and will be re-christened on Thursday at its new home at Lake Dillon Fire Station No. 8 in Dillon.
The ceremony, which will begin at 10 a.m., will include a ceremonial procession featuring the Summit Historical Society’s 1942 Sterling fire engine, driven by Lake Dillon Fire Board President Jim Cox, from the old Dillon school house to the fire station.
According to the Summit Historical Society, the bell once was housed in a 12-foot wooden frame on a side street in old Dillon, in a location now beneath the waters of the Dillon Reservoir.
Shirley Allen, a resident of old Dillon, told the Summit Historical Society that she and her friends would ring the bell and then run and hide. It was replaced by a siren in the 1940s. For 20 years, the bell was kept by Veronica Kohn, who donated it to the historical organization.
Lake Dillon Fire Engineer Doug Beeler restored the bell and built a new framework to hold it.
Fire bells may date as far back as 1068, with William the Conqueror using them to signal an alarm; in the fire service, bells originally were used to alert volunteer firefighters throughout the community of the need for their services.
“We’re delighted to be a part of this appreciation of firefighting heritage,” said Lake Dillon Fire Chief Jeff Berino. “Bells are as much a part of our history as are fire poles and fire engines themselves.”