B.M.C. Durfee High School  [new]
   Elsbree Street at School Brook Road
   Fall River, Massachusetts, USA
   LL: N 41.71668, W 71.12714
Site locator map  or  [ MapQuest map ]
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*Former location (1990-2010):

   (in storage)
*Former location (1886-1990):
   B.M.C. Durfee High School  [old]
   between Rock and High Streets,
     Cherry and Locust Streets
   Fall River, Massachusetts, USA
   LL: N 41.70537, W 71.15181
Site locator map  or  [ MapQuest map ]




   B.M.C. Durfee High School [new]
   360 Elsbree Street
   Fall River, MA  02720-7298
   T: (508)675-8100
   - or -
   Durfee Bells Preservation Society
   PO Box 9235
   Fall River, MA  02720-0004
   - or -
   Lester Cory, Chairman
   45 Summit Avenue
   Tiverton, RI  02878-4632
   H: (401)624-3478   W: (508)999-8482
   E: LCory@UmassD.edu


   Original added semitone is flat 7th.
   Old school closed in 1978, and was
   converted to a state courthouse in early
   1990s; bells removed during conversion.
   Smallest bell stolen c.1999.
   Aug.2004: 9 bells retuned at Meeks,
   Watson & Co.; replacement for stolen
   bell was cast to a Meneely pattern.
   Apr.2008: Tower site chosen.
   Spring 2010: Tower under construction
   on Elsbree Street, adjacent to ticket
   booth (for stadium?); will eventually
   (but not at first) contain chimestand
   at ground level.
   Nov.2010: Tower complete.
   Nov.2012: 12 bells installed; includes
   2 new trebles (one replacement,
   c.2004, and one addition cast 2012)
   plus an 1898 McShane bell tuned to fit
   as sharp 4th.
   Jul.2018: City to build new high
   school, displacing tower; bells go into
   storage for later installation in a
   belfry on new building.
   Nov.2018: Bells removed to storage at
   Sunderlin bellfoundry.

*Technical data:

   Chime-sized instrument (without any workable playing mechanism) of 14 bells
   Pitch of heaviest bell is D# in the middle octave
   There are two added semitones
   The instrument was enlarged in 2015
     with  2 bells made by Meeks,Watson
   Prior history:
     In 2011, the instrument was enlarged to 12 bells
       by Meeks,Watson
       (2 bells were added in and/or remain from that work.)
     In 2011, the bells were retuned
       by Meeks,Watson
     In 1886, the instrument was begun with 10 bells
       with bells made by Meneely/Wvlt
       (9 bells remain from that work.)
   Auxiliary mechanisms: nE    
   Tower details not available
   Year of latest technical information source is 2015
Additional information on the technical history of this instrument can be found in a database printout.

A news article (Nov.2018) reports removal of the bells to storage.

A news article (Oct.2015) reports the installation of two new bells to the chime, and has a photo of one being prepared for lifting.

In a page about the school on the district Website, under Durfee News & Notes, there is a link to a PDF about the Durfee Bells Project.

On the Website of the Durfee Alumni, there are photos of the original building and its bell tower; "The Chimes" newsletter page links to the 2010 issue, which is a long PDF containing an article about the status of the project.  There is a page about the bells and their history, with a photo of the present tower.  A PDF of the dedication program booklet can be downloaded.

News article (text only) about the new tower - erected summer 2010, clocks installed Nov.2010 on each side of the tower, and are operational; wiring for bells is in place, and they will be installed at the end of summer 2012.

A news article about the history of the old Durfee HS and the plan to reinstall the bells.

The origin of the first B.M.C.Durfee High School building.

An old Visitor's Guide to Bristol County contains a more detailed description of the old building, and mentions the chime.

A Wikipedia article has two photos of the original building and its bell tower.

Where the initial phase of this work lies in the sequence of output of the Meneely (Watervliet) bellfoundry.
(Tuning of old bells is not an indexable phase of the work.)
Where the second phase of this work lies in the sequence of output of the Meeks & Watson bellfoundry, in this region and in the world.
Where the final phase of this work lies in the sequence of output of the Meeks & Watson bellfoundry, in this region and in the world.

Ranking among all North American chimes by size (number of bells).
Ranking among all North American chimes by weight (pitch).
Ranking among all North American chimes by year of completion.

Index to all tower bell instruments in MA.

   This page was built from the database on 15-Mar-19
   based on textual data last updated on 2019/03/03
   and on technical data last updated on 2018/09/10

(none available)

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