chapel bell

Evening sun shines on the chapel bell in North Campus on an unusually warm day in Athens, Georgia on Tuesday, February 5, 2019. (Photo/Caroline Barnes, http://carolinembarnes.wixsite.com/photography)

One of the University of Georgia’s oldest football traditions will continue undeterred when Georgia faces Murray State in its home opener.

The 184-year-old Chapel Bell, traditionally rung after Bulldog victories, was reinstalled last week, according to UGA spokesperson Greg Trevor. The bell had been out of commission over the summer, receiving repairs at Chime Master in Lancaster, Ohio.

The repairs, which began after the bell was removed and shipped to Ohio, were made because the bell’s wheel was broken. The stand the bell rests on was also rusted and undersized, Chime Master told The Red & Black in July.

The bell was last repaired in 2008. A 2007 Georgia win over Florida was followed by continuous ringing of the bell for hours, which broke the bell’s yoke and caused the bell to fall a few inches onto wooden planks.

The repairs cost $31,000, Trevor said. A report provided by Chime Master in July estimated repairs, restorations and installation services to cost around $27,500. Other potential costs were estimated to reach over $8,000.

The 700 pound-bell was cast by George Holbrook of Massachusetts, whose family cast more than 10,000 bells in the foundry’s lifetime.

Cast in 1835, the bell was placed behind The Chapel on North Campus in 1913. Over the years, the bell has been used to call students to class, special events and religious services.

The tradition of ringing the bell after a football game was first recorded in writing in an 1894 Red & Black article, according to a UGA library online collection. Georgia had defeated Auburn 10-8 in Atlanta. When the team returned to Athens, players and fans started a bonfire with cardboard boxes and rung the bell until “the night had far spent itself.”


Gabriela Miranda contributed to this article.

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