A C.S. Bell Company bell is pictured outside the Buford Church of Christ. (Photo courtesy of Linda Shaffer.)
A C.S. Bell Company bell is pictured outside the Buford Church of Christ. (Photo courtesy of Linda Shaffer.)
Ladies and gentlemen, our last confabulation focused on getting a bell in a belfry, so an offering on getting one out of a belfry only makes sense.

It’s a timely topic, too. Just this past year, the Buford Church of Christ had its historic bell taken out of its belfry.

I was aware of this because I drive through Buford on state Route 138 often, and I’ve covered Memorial Day observances there on multiple occasions in the past. The parade always begins near the venerable church and the old school and marches to the Buford Cemetery off of state Route 134, but I didn’t know the backstory until just last week.

I just knew that during the last the Memorial Day parade and observances, there was no bell mounted in front of the august church, but now there is, and it catches my attention each time I pass through town. And thanks to Linda Shaffer, who reached out to me, now I know that bell is,
indeed, a C.S. Bell Co. bell.

Linda wrote to me, saying, “Hi Steve, I enjoyed your recent article on getting the C.S. Bell in the belfry. We recently faced the opposite task of getting our C.S. Bell out of the belfry. Built in 1851, our belfry has done its job well but could no longer support this church bell.

“Having no horse-drawn equipment available, a crane was used for the job. It was a successful venture, and following a refurbishing, with the help of many, our cherished bell is displayed in a manner suitable for its grandeur. It is in front of our church and is fully functional and safe to
ring. We look forward to hearing it on Sunday mornings.”

She sent me about a dozen photos, and I could discern the Buford Church of Christ bell is a C.S. Bell Co. No. 40 Steel Alloy Church Bell, which, of course, was manufactured right here in Hillsboro. After seeing the “before and after” photos, she’s 100-percent correct; the bell has been handsomely refurbished, and its display is magnificent.

Many thanks for sharing, Linda. And as the late, great Paul Harvey used to say, “And now you know the rest of the story.” (And I bet you heard his distinctive voice when you read that.)

Linda hasn’t been the only one who has reached out with great information on the C.S. Bell Co. and the bells the company produced for generations.

Quite a few have shared some really fascinating odds and ends on the company that was a mainstay in Highland County, and we’ll share those particulars in the very near future (and if you have any stories, please drop me a line), but let’s pause for now, and we’ll continue next week.

Steve Roush is a vice president of an international media company, is vice chairman of the Highland County Historical Society Board of Trustees and is a columnist and contributing writer for The Highland County Press. He can be reached by email at roush_steve@msn.com.