Jacksonville News

Photo by Member Mark Krancer, Kram Kran Photo

Photo by Member Mark Krancer, Kram Kran Photo


Date ArticleType
6/11/2023 4:00:00 AM Member News

Jacksonville Historical Society unveils Bicentennial Bell

Jacksonville, FL, June 9, 2023 – The Jacksonville Public Library’s flagship branch, the Main Library downtown, was the host for the June 7, 2023, unveiling of the Jacksonville Bicentennial Bell, a 225-lb. bronze bell that includes the Bicentennial logo etched on one side and the City of Jacksonville seal on the other side.
The bell was conceived to be a legacy of the city’s 200th anniversary and a gift to the people of Jacksonville from its citizens and businesses, according to Alan J. Bliss, CEO of the Jacksonville Historical Society and Jacksonville History Center. It was manufactured by Verdin, a Cincinnati, Ohio-based company which has earlier ties to the city, having restored the 1901 Greenleaf and Crosby clock at Laura and Adams streets after it was struck by a car some years ago.

The event kicked off with a private reception for current and prospective donors to the bell’s creation and to its future site, yet to be determined. Speakers at the unveiling included Alan Bliss; Tim Rogers, executive director of the JPL; G. David Auchter, IV, chair of the historical society’s board of directors and Bicentennial chair; Councilmember Matt Carlucci, a former chair of the historical society, and Aaron Gibson-Evans, chair of the Bicentennial Bell project.

Following remarks, the veiling was pulled from the bell by Auchter and Gibson-Evans, who then rang the bell. The commemorative bell will remain on display in the Pajcic Promenade at the Main Library, 303 N. Laura Street, until a permanent site is secured.
Every business in Jacksonville should desire to be included on the monument, securing their place on Jacksonville’s Bicentennial legacy. Current corporate and organizational donors include 904 Happy Hour; Auld & White Constructors, LLC; Chappell Schools, LLC; Duval Audubon Society; Hardage-Giddens Greenlawn Cemetery; Haskell; Pajcic & Pajcic, P.A.; Park Place Lounge; St. John’s River Bar Pilots, Inc., and VyStar Credit Union.
It’s not too late to make a donation to the Bicentennial Bell and add your name to Jacksonville’s legacy. Donors at the personal (individual/family) level of $1,000 or business level of $2,500 will be recognized with a permanent inscription of their choosing on the monument.
Donations to the bell can be made to the Jacksonville Historical Society; visit jaxhistory.org for details. For more information about Jacksonville’s Bicentennial Bell, call (904) 665-0064 or email communications@jaxhistory.org. A video of the unveiling can be found at https://youtu.be/v6w90b1fJ5E

A group of people standing next to a bell  Description automatically generated with medium confidence  

Bell Unveiling Participants: Alan J. Bliss, CEO, Jacksonville Historical Society; Matt Carlucci, Jacksonville City Councilmember; David Auchter, Board Chair, Jacksonville Historical Society; Kate A. Hallock, Chief of Staff, Jacksonville Historical Society, and Aaron Gibson-Evans, Bicentennial Bell Chair.

About The Jacksonville Historical Society/Jacksonville History Center
The Jacksonville Historical Society, established in 1929, serves the public by maintaining an archival repository of documents, photographs, rare books and architectural artifacts relating to Jacksonville-area history. With offices located in the Old St. Luke’s Hospital building on Palmetto Street, the society raises funds for the restoration of local landmarks, provides speakers on a variety of Jacksonville history topics, and leads walking tours, among many other activities.
The Jacksonville History Center, a collaboration of diverse nonprofits, will be a place for the Jacksonville community to learn and experience who they are and what their history informs about the future. Located in the heart of the growing Sports & Entertainment District and composed of four historic structures – Old St. Luke’s Hospital, Old St. Andrew’s Church, the James E. Merrill House Museum, and the Florida Casket Company Building – the Jacksonville History Center will be curated against the backdrop of Jacksonville’s rich legacy of music, a world class archive, and a growing collection of the region’s historical artifacts. The center will be a local educational destination, a unique and engaging special events venue, and a must-experience cultural attraction for visitors to the region.