Kelley Baptist Church Bell

MacCallum Water Tower and Kelley Baptist Church, 1908-1956. A view from Albion Street looking north at the rear elevation of the Kelley Baptist Church (right) and on the left the MacCallum water tower with windmill. An ornate picket fence along Albion Street encloses the garden of the MacCallum house. (Gift of Margaret Kelley Campbell)

February 15, 1903 – Mrs. Eliza Kelley rang the new bell at the Baptist Church on Ukiah Street for the first time. The church building was Eliza’s gift to the congregation, and she had long wanted a bell for the church to summon worshipers to church services. Eliza’s youngest daughter, the wealthy Mrs. Elise Drexler, learning of her mother’s desire, purchased the bell in San Francisco and presented it to Eliza, who in turn presented it to the church.

The Baptist Church had been dedicated on June 10, 1894, with the Reverend John Simpson Ross of Caspar conducting the service. The building was in use until about 1936. While still owned by the Kelley-MacCallums, the church was vacant for many years. In 1974 Rosemary Henes opened “Personal Expressions,” a retail store here. Since 1976, this structure has housed “Corners of the Mouth,” a natural food cooperative.

The belfry was enclosed in the 1950s. Does anyone know what happened to the bell?

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