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Oakland Alumni Association Victory Bell

The Alumni Victory Bell located on the grounds of the Messalonskee High School was given to the school in 1974 by the Oakland Alumni Association. A small building was constructed to house the bell near the entrance to the school grounds. The bell was situated near some residential homes and there were complaints from the residents when the bell was rung to celebrate a late evening athletic victory. The school authorities removed the clapper at one point. The bell became the target for vandals who threw some very large stones at the bell.

In 2002 a committee from the Oakland Alumni Assoc. met with school officials to discuss our concern for the neglect and misuse of the bell. At a later date it was decided that the building that houses the bell should be temporarily boarded up to protect any further damage by vandals. The building and bell have been moved to a new location near the athletic fields where it can be used to celebrate athletic victories without annoying the residential neighbors. School representatives have indicated that there are tentative plans to renovate the building so that the bell can be used and displayed as it was intended. At the present time the structure needs repairs from damages incurred when it was moved.

Alumni Victory Bell Dedication 1974

The following report was given by Miss Lena Kerr class of 1909 at the dedication of the bell on June 8, 1974.

Alumni Bell

The Oakland High School building was erected in 1896-1899 at a cost of approximately $1800 and closed in the 1920's.

It was damaged by fire on Sept. 14, 1900, the fire creeping up from the basement to belfry. Classes were moved into the Methodist Church Vestry while repairs were made on the school building.

During the period of repairs, the belfry was changed in design.

It was now possible to hang a bell in the belfry. Such a bell was located and hung in the new reconstructed belfry and classes were resumed in the Oakland High School in the Spring of 1901.

After standing closed and idle for many years, the Old High School building was sold to Ralph Stowell, and more recently was purchased by the Oakland Methodist Church.

In August 1971 work was started on tearing down the building and the bell was removed from the belfry August 11, 1971.

The bell was purchased by the Oakland Alumni Association for $1250.00 and is now placed at the south side of the present building complex where it will be dedicated tonight (Superintendent Ralph M. Atwood accepted this gift on behalf of the school system, and the bell was tolled by treasurer Roy Bowen). Here it will serve as a reminder and link with the past and also tolled for victories by the Messalonskee High School sports teams.


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