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A Big Piece of History going into Adair Co. Primary Center
The Bell from Columbia Graded & High School has been saved, and will have a new life as a functional art piece at the new elementary school
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By Ed Waggener
A big piece of history, 'a hell of a bell,' will live on, tying past generations school children with tomorrow's.
The bell which summoned thousands of Columbia Graded and High students to classes will be the central art piece at the newest school, Adair County Primary Center, the elementary school now under construction which will replace, basically, Col. Wm. Casey Elementary.
The bell has been in storage at the maintenance building on General John Adair Drive since the razing of the old school.
It's a huge affair, the bell is 32" high and is so heavy a tractor was needed to move it from storage to its present location.
The architects are now considering how to enshrine it in a pleasing way in the foyer at the entrance of he new school.
When it was last in use at the Columbia Grade Center, once the Columbia Graded and High School, the bell was in the upstairs of the building, near (or over?) the balcony in the school's auditorium.
A long rope hung down to the landing at the top of the entrance steps, where, many will remember, it took all of Joe Taylor, Sr's strength to ring it at the start of school in the morning and to summons children back from lunch just after noon. Joe Taylor, Sr. was the custodian at the school for many years.
At ACPC, the bell ringing will be reserved for the opening of the school year in the fall, for Christmas vacation, or to ring when the school has a very, very special occasion to celebrate, Col. Casey Principal Patty Jones said.
The idea of an art piece remembering the past in each school been a vision of Adair County School Board Chairman Floyd Burton that a memory from the past be a part of each school on the campus. At the Adair County Middle School, it's the old school itself which is the memory, it was the first Adair County High School.
And there's the artwork, an idealized painting of a Little Red Schoolhouse of country life in Adair County has been a part of Adair County student life for over one quarter of a century originally painted by Wilbert Branham and Rocky Yarberry which hangs in the foyer of Adair County Middle School as it did when the building housed the high school. At ACES, it is the cutaway bus in the lobby. It's remained a favorite part of school there, and helps maintain memories of a tradition.
Superintendent Reed is hoping that during the next few months, the public will remember stories about the bell and share them.
This story was posted on 2013-01-20 14:34:43
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