The Paul Revere-made bell that sat atop the Oxford School in Fairhaven for 100 years will soon have a new home at Fairhaven's Town Hall. The bell has been in various stages of restoration in Boston for most of the past five years, but thanks to some work from Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech students and faculty, the bell is one step closer to being displayed to the public.

Welding/sheet metal teacher Paul Mendez said that students were able to create an exact replica of the bell using a 3D model. This allowed them to design and create, from scratch, a perfectly sized housing that will protect the priceless bell once it is on display in front of Fairhaven Town Hall.

How historic is this bell? It was the 12th bell that Paul Revere made at his foundry in Boston. Revere himself marked the bell as paid in his ledger. Cast in 1796, it is now the third oldest bell in the world.

Did the students get "hands on" or have any part in restoring the bell itself?

"We didn't want any part of that," Mendez joked.

Photo courtesy of Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech

The housing that the bell will sit in at Fairhaven Town Hall was put together by two groups of GNBVT carpentry students, roughly 30 to 40 students in total, with the help of an outside contractor. The project was initially started in 2019, pre-COVID, and was recently finished up.

The Fairhaven Bell Committee, led by Doug Brady, will arrange to have the bell placed on a slab of granite.

"Many years from now, the former students will be able to look upon the cupola at town hall and tell their children they helped build the design and history of the Revere Bell," said Maciel Pais, Information Technology and Digital Learning Director at Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech.

"It was quite the project. The kids loved it," Mendez said.

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Construction for the final presentation of the Revere Bell is likely to take place in the fall. More fundraising is needed because of the extreme jump in the cost of lumber and building materials.

The bell will eventually be mounted between the town hall and the flag pole on the right side of the building's main entrance.

We told you back in January about how the cupola that proudly sat on top of the Oxford School was quietly replaced on a Saturday afternoon after being removed four years ago to get restored.

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