Trumbull Courthouse bell chimes back into service after long absence

Staff report


The 1,500-pound 1895-era bronze bell in the dome of the Trumbull County Courthouse returned to active service Tuesday, an estimated 20 years after it was last used.

With new automated ringing equipment operating it, the bell chimed on the hour and half hour throughout the day.

The bell could be heard around Courthouse Square, thanks to repairs in recent months. The work was prompted by the news that the equipment that runs the four courthouse clocks could no longer be repaired and had to be replaced.

The third key device in the dome is a digital device called a carillon that imitates the sound of bells and can play them to different music. The carillon and its eight speakers mounted in the outside of the courthouse were also replaced recently after the earlier carillon stopped working.

The carillon plays the Westminster Chimes every quarter hour and can also play many other different songs.

But a plan to use the carillon Tuesday to play patriotic songs in remembrance of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks hit a snag.

The carillon was supposed to play the National Anthem at just after noon, but it played “76 Trombones” instead.

Tony Cornicelli, common pleas court administrator, mediator and magistrate, said it was apparently an issue with programming the device correctly on Monday when a representative of The Verdon Co. of Cincinnati made a visit to train Cornicelli and a maintenance employee on how to program songs.

Cornicelli said he doesn’t know if the programming to play “God Bless America” about 9 a.m. was successful or not.

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