Another Liberty Bell Museum

Allentown, Pennsylvania, has a number of fine attractions.  One of the better ones, the Liberty Bell Museum, is small but a 5 Compass must-see.  It tells the story of a little known event in American history.

Church bells were the Internet of the 18th century.  Ringing them alerted people several miles away of danger.  The British were heading to Philadelphia, a town they were destined to occupy during the American Revolution.  They were short of ammunition and locals feared they would melt down their biggest church bells to make cannons.  It seemed necessary to move 11 of them, including the famous Liberty Bell, to a safe location and hide them.  The village of Northhampton Towne, now Allentown, was chosen, and the bells were put in farm wagons for the 3 day trek to this settlement 50 miles from Philadelphia.  The exact reason why this town was chosen is not known.  The 11 bells were successfully hidden under the floorboards of a church there for 9 months, and their storage place wasn’t known until 1962.  The Liberty Bell was especially important because it could be heard 40 miles away when rung.  Stephanie, our host at the Liberty Bell Museum, used a clapper to demonstrate its sound and range.

Although the exact place where the bells were hidden wasn’t known until 1962, 54 replicas of the Liberty Bell were cast in 1950 to help finance the Korean War.  Every state received one.  Missouri was given 2 because Harry Truman was President then, and the second bell was eventually put into his Presidential Library in Independence, MO.  France has one too because that is where they were cast.  The bell in the Liberty Bell Museum is Pennsylvania’s official replica.

There is more to see in the Liberty Bell Museum in Allentown than this replica.  My favorite was the 46-foot-long oil painting done by Wilmer Behler of the moving of the bell.  There is also a copy of the farm wagon used to move the bells, historic photos in a hallway, and a lot more.  I also enjoyed seeing Zion thanks to Stephanie.  Zion’s Church is now on the location under which the bells were stored, but it dates from 1886.  The original house of worship on this spot was a small log church built in 1762.

 

It’s a treat to see this replica bell and hear it ring.  Visiting this museum is also a bargain at only $2 per person.  

Hank

 

About roadsrus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road is...today's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roadsrus

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