FARMERS BRANCH ~ On an unusually warm Tuesday in January, a crew of specialized craftsmen carefully helped place a 100-plus-year-old bell back into the belfry where its service began in the 1890s.
The Old Church at the Farmers Branch Historical Park has been the site for lectures, demonstrations, recitals and many, many weddings since being moved there from Renner, Texas in 1985.
But, it came without a bell.
A group of concerned, civic-minded citizens in the Focus Farmers Branch class of 1991 donated a small railroad bell to the park for use in the Old Church. Yet, the structure's original bell was still out there.
Historical Park Superintendent Derrick Birdsall said the original bell had been given to the Renner Baptist Church where it had been displayed outside their building for many years, enduring the Texas weather and earning years of rust and decay.
"The good folks at the Renner Baptist Church reached out to the Historical Park with their desire to donate the bell to us," Mr. Birdsall said, "thereby, reuniting the bell with the church."
The Friends of the Farmers Branch Historical Park took on the task of funding the restoration of the bell by Siebler Inc. who also removed the railroad bell and placed the original, 600-pound bell back inside the bell tower at the park in January.
"The Friends of the Historical Park are to be commended for taking on this project to preserve the bell, return it to its home, and reinforce the 1890s-era church to be sure it can still support the bell's weight," Mr. Birdsall concluded. "This has been a great project."