Photo by Brian Hagberg.

Pieces of the Past: The Bells Part 2

May 10, 2023

The DeFrees Foundation has helped Warren’s many community programs. In his lifetime, Joseph DeFrees was directly involved with local government, church, the Boy Scouts, and many more. His fascination with bells led him to acquire 24 bells of various sizes, shapes, and sounds.

Perhaps the best part of this is DeFrees’s bells are unique landmarks found only in Warren.

Allegheny Valve’s final plant location serves as one of the bell sites in Warren. DeFrees was credited with patents on several valve designs. He also had experience in bridge design. These attributes gave him the training he needed to engineer the bell towers to be lifetime fixtures around town.

Since Allegheny Valve was where DeFrees worked, I consider the bells next to that building to be the”home” site This is the only site that uses stainless steel for the tower. The 3 bells were made at the Meneely foundry in Troy, New York around 1895. The trio was purchased by DeFrees from a firm in Cincinnati. Each bell is bronze, The top bell is the heavy one weighing 1,100 pounds. The middle one is around 450 and the bottom is 300.

The Allegheny Valve building served several purposes before it was purchased by DeFrees in 1960. This site very well might have been Joe’s favorite even though others were larger and more ornate

Have you noticed the bells on your travels around Warren’s West End? Over the year I’ll try to take you to all the bell sites around Warren.

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