Bell Tour logo2To mark Ohio’s 200th birthday, the Ohio Bicentennial Commission is casting commemorative Bicentennial bells in each of Ohio’s 88 counties. The project is the signature event for the whole state, and guarantees that every Ohio county will take part in and benefit from the Bicentennial. Each Bicentennial bell is handmade on-site in the centuries old European tradition, when bells were cast close by a structure to minimize the high cost and difficulty of transportation.

The Bicentennial bells provide a thematic tribute to the state’s manufacturing and industrial roots, just as Bicentennial barns, a hallmark of the celebration, honor Ohio’s agrarian heritage. In planning such an ambitious project, the Commission enlisted the world’s largest bell company. The Cincinnati-based Verdin Company, in business since 1842, has provided bells and ringing equipment to more than 30,000 churches. Perhaps best known for creating and casting the 33-ton, 12-foot-tall World Peace Bell for the millennium celebration, Verdin commissions include the famed “Big Ben” bell in London and the 1804 San Juan Capistrano mission bells.

The bells, molded in the “American” style of the Liberty Bell, are personalized with a county name, forging date, the Great Seal of Ohio and the Bicentennial logo. Summit County’s bell was cast May 31 and June 1, 2003 at the Cuyahoga Valley Heritage Festival in Lock 3 Park (downtown Akron).

To schedule the bell, please contact the Department of Communications or fill out the Tour Form.




The Bicentennial bell weighs approximately 250 pounds and stands about 2 feet tall.

Approximately 12 bronze ingots, each weighing about 40 pounds, were used for each bell. The ingots are a mixture of 80 percent copper and 20 percent tin.

Bicentennial bells chime an “E”.

A single bell can be used as a call to worship, to toll, or to strike the hours, thus its function is generally that of a signal.


Summit County Executive James B. McCarthy June 1, 2003

(Recognize Mayors/Council in attendance)

Mayor Amy Addis, City of Norton;

Mayor Barbara Kornuc, City of Macedonia;

Mayor Brad Sisak, City of Munroe Falls;

Summit County Councilman Michael King;

Summit County Councilman Dan Congrove;

And of course, Mayor Don Plusquellic, City of Akron.

It is thrilling to be a part of Ohio’s 200th birthday celebration and to be the recipients of such a lasting and beautiful tribute to our state’s heritage.
I am honored to accept the Summit County Bicentennial Bell on behalf of the citizens of Summit County.
And, because the bell belongs to all the citizens of our county - we will not be hiding it away – Summit County’s bell will be on the move. For the remainder of 2003, our bell will travel around the county - visiting communities, festivals, parades, civic and school groups – so as many people can enjoy it as possible during Ohio’s Bicentennial year.

It will also be on display at Cascades Locks Parks Mustill House & Store and during the Wonderful World of Ohio Mart at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens.

I’d like to thank everyone involved in making our bell casting and today’s Heritage Festival a success:

The Ohio Bicentennial Commission;

Verdin Company;

Mayor Plusquellic and the City of Akron;

Dan Dahl and the staff of the Akron Civic Theatre and EJ Thomas;

The Cuyahoga Valley National Park Association;

The Cuyahoga Valley National Park Service;

Akron Community Foundation who provided a grant that allowed us to purchase this beautiful bell stand;

Akron’s Deputy Mayor of Intergovernmental Relations, Dorothy Jackson;

Joey Arrietta of the Akron Racers and Grassroots to the Pros; 

and my Department of Communications staff.

Thank you all for your part in this wonderful event. Without further ado, let’s ring our bell!


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