The Bates Association Memorials
The Hingham Bell Tower
By Sandy Bates
In Hingham, Mass. is located the Old Church Meeting House. Right next to it is a Bell Tower made of brick. A sign by it says: “Hingham Memorial Bell Tower Dedicated 1912 To The Settlers of Hingham”.
A woman by the name of Miss Susan Willard and Louis Cornish held a drive to erect the Bell Tower as a monument to the first settlers of Hingham. This was to be erected beside the Old Meeting House.
The Tower was dedicated in 1912 with much pomp and circumstance. The lovely bells sending competing sounds among the sounds of auto horns. It holds one of only twenty sets of change-ringing bells in North America (Change-Ringing Bells do not produce recognizable tunes, but rung in and orderly sequence in rows).
The old flint block from the market place in Hingham, England was to be the cornerstone of the Tower but due to it’s irregular shape was placed inside the Tower. This stone was the stepping stone that stood in the Public Square in Hingham England.
In 1928 vandals broke the windows in the Tower. On August 14, 1945 the bells were rung to announce Japan’s surrender.
In The Sept 1908 Bulletin the Former Governor John L. Bates spoke of the part that men of these types of our Bates Ancestors had in liberating the thought of the world and he called attention to the Memorial Tower and Chime of bells to be erected.
In the Bates Bulletin April 1909 it first talks about the Tower to be erected at a cost of $10,000. The hopes were to dedicate it at the town’s 275th anniversary 1910 (My Note: Apparently this did not happen as it was not dedicated till 1912 ). The Bulletin stated that Clement Bates descendants should be very interested in this as he was one of the early settlers.
In the Sept 1909 Bulletin The Association urged it’s members to aid in erecting the Memorial to the First Settlers of Hingham.
Sandy Bates and her Mother-in-law Esther Bates took a trip to Hingham, going to the Church and the Bell Tower, and of course Clements Dedication stone is there that The Bates Association placed. Harold and Sandy’s Double Line of Bates is Clement.
Find out more about ringing bells at:
The sign at the Bell Tower Reads:
Hingham Memorial Bell Tower, Dedicated 1912 to The Settlers of Hingham