Original Courthouse Bell at Sesquicentennial Park, Graham
H.F. Mitchell Construction, Builder
A 400-pound cast metal bell hangs from a yoke, which stands on top of a brick-tiered structure with a plaque honoring Dr. Clinton S. Crissman. The waist of the bell is engraved with the date and location of its casting. The bell's clapper hangs below. The monument stands in a 40-foot by 60-foot garden.
Images: Plaque | Setting and view of courthouse
On plaque: THE ORGINAL COURT HOUSE BELL / PRESENTED TO THE CITIZENS OF ALAMANCE COUNTY / IN MEMORY OF / DR. CLINTON S. CRISSMAN / WHO SERVED AS A FAMILY PHYSICIAN / 1946-1992. / BELL ON PERMANENT LOAN BY THE CRISSMAN FAMILY OF GRAHAM. /
On bell: WEST TROY, N.Y. 1859
City of Graham
1850s and again at the County's 150th anniversary on April 24, 1999.
36.069590 , -79.399770
"A Look Back at the Old Alamance County Courthouse," The Times-News (Burlington, NC), July 16, 2011, (accessed March 29, 2012) Link
"About Our Practice," Crissman Family Practice, (accessed April 10, 2012) Link
"Alamance County Courthouse," The Historical Marker Database, (accessed March 29, 2012) Link
"Alamance County Sesquicentennial Celebration Schedule," The Times-News (Burlington, NC), April 25, 1999
"Get Ready to Walk," The Times-News (Burlington, NC), May 1, 2007, (accessed April 15, 2012) Link
"Original Courthouse Bell at Sesquicentennial Park #1," Flickr user claforet, (accessed March 26, 2012) Link
"Sesquicentennial Park," Visit NC, (accessed March 29, 2012) Link
"The Original Courthouse," Alamance County, (accessed April 10, 2012) Link
Abernethy, Michael D. "Children's Museum Board Announces Start," The Times-News (Burlington, NC), October 29, 2009, (accessed April 5, 2012) Link
North Carolina General Assembly, "Senate Resolution 763," (accessed April 10, 2012) Link
”Golden Moment Finds Way to Square," The Times-News (Burlington, NC), April 25, 1999
Brick platform, black brass plaque, cast metal bell
The courthouse bell was originally dedicated sometime around 1959. It was rededicated along with the new park across from the historic courthouse on April 24, 1999 on the occasion of the County's sesquicentennial.
The bell originally was located on top of the roof of the old courthouse building that was completed in 1852. The old building was demolished and the bell moved to the Sesquicentennial Park in Court Square after officials decided the building needed to be rebuilt in 1923. The new courthouse was completed on November 23, 1924.
The bell is in honor of Dr. Clinton Crissman, who opened family medical practice in 1946 after serving in the Army Air Corps in World War II. Dr. Crissman also served on the board of education for Alamance County from 1965-1971.
The monument is located in the Sesquicentennial Garden across from the Court Square where the Confederate Monument is located. The bell stands on a brick column with a steel and brick pavilion atop of it. Surrounding the pavilion are small bushes, small trees, and shrubs.
The monument first stood in the Court Square on the original brick 1850 courthouse. Now the bell is located in the northwest area of Sesquicentennial Park across from the new Courthouse.
The bell was originally located on the old courthouse, but after the courthouse was demolished it was moved and lost for several years. It was not until 1999 that the bell was relocated to Sesquicentennial Park on Alamance County's 150th birthday. The bell now stands in the court square at the Sesquicentennial Park.
The Sesquicentennial Park has occasional city wide events held there like Graham Walks, a physical fitness program that began in 2007 and continues to be held there annually each spring.
Alamance County was officially established on April 24, 1849, but the first court meeting was not until June 4, 1849. After establishing the necessity for an Alamance County courthouse, the commissioners decided to begin the process of establishing one. A contract was signed on July 17, 1849 to construct the courthouse and it opened in 1852. The bell became the focal point of the structure, and unfortunately once the original courthouse was demolished to make way for a newer and larger structure, the bell went missing until it was recovered in the 1990s.