The Lawson Tower
   (originally Observatory Tower,
     Dreamwold, Egypt)
   First Parish Road nr Central Park Drive
   Scituate, Massachusetts, USA
   LL: N 42.20058, W 70.75525
Site locator map


   Lenae Badger
   43 Marion Road Ext.
   Scituate, MA  02066-2721
   H: (781)545-5840


   Scituate Historical Society
     43 Cudworth Road
     Scituate, MA  02066
     PO Box 276
     Scituate, MA  02066-0276
   T: (781)545-1083
   E: director@


   Cambridge (Westminster) "quarters" at
   7am & 6pm only; simple hour strike the
   rest of the day.


   Tower & belfry built to conceal a water
   tank for Dreamwold, the estate of
   Thomas W. Lawson, in the village of
   Egypt, now part of Scituate.
   Added semitone is flat 7th.
   Renovated by Verdin in 2006 (during
   major restoration which removed the
   long-disused water tank); keystroke
   now significantly shorter.  Tower open
   to the public several times a year,
   and by appointment.

*Technical data:

   Traditional chime (chimestand) of 10 bells
   Pitch of heaviest bell is D  in the middle octave
   Transposition is up  2 semitone(s)
   Keyboard range:     C D   /    NONE  
   There is one added semitone
   There is no practice console
   The whole instrument was installed in 1902
     with bells made by Meneely/Wvlt
   Auxiliary mechanisms: Q4    
   Tower details: 
     Height of console:                  0 meters above ground
     Height of lowest level of bells:   30 meters above ground
     Height of highest level of bells:  30 meters above ground
     Belfry openness:  40%
   Year of latest technical information source is 1996

The Website of The Scituate Historical Society appears blank to older browsers.  For newer ones, the long home page has a photo of Lawson Tower a little over halfway down.  Visible on the right side of the tower is the stair turret for access to the belfry.  At the bottom edge can be seen part of the small room housing the chimestand.  Click on that photo to see a larger version showing all of the tower.  If when you return from that photo, the home page does not scroll any longer, reload it.  Further down the page is a fine photo of an 1864 fog bell, made for the U.S.Light House Establishment by Henry N. Hooper & Co. of Boston.
There is a text-only page which gives the history of the tower, but does not describe it.
Another page has a photo of the ground-level keyboard room (exterior).
A CD of chime music, formerly sold through the shop, is no longer available, but you can still see what it looked like.
There is a gallery of photos of, or related to, the tower.

The consulting firm involved with plans for restoration of the tower provides a photo, history and description, and structural drawings of the tower, bell frame, etc.

A photo page from a collection of water towers seems to suggest that the tower is made of stone (as the original German model was).  Actually it is of wood shingles and trim over a steel frame, independent of the 70-foot standpipe inside it.

A huge photo (208KB) by a genealogist shows the keyboard room (at left) and the stairway entrance (at right) at the base of the tower.

The Scituate Historical Society does not mention Lawson Tower, since the Society does not own it; they only maintain it for the Town of Scituate.

Where this work lies in the sequence of output of the Meneely (Watervliet) bellfoundry.

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 21-Sep-19
   based on textual data last updated on 2010/09/20
   and on technical data last updated on 2019/09/13

(none available)

Explanations of page format and keyboard range are available.

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