28 down, 29 to go

The Goal: Visit all of the 1950 Liberty Bell replicas. According to the Liberty Bell Museum: In 1950, the United States Department of the Treasury assisted by several private companies selected Paccard Foundry in Annecy-le-Vieux, France, to cast 57 full-sized replicas of the Liberty Bell. The bells were shipped as gifts to states and territories…

So much cheese

How a fondue restaurant in Delaware ended up with its very own Liberty Bell. This month at the Melting Pot in Wilmington, Delaware, you can celebrate Choctober-Fest with a four-course meal for $44.95 per person. You’ll start by dipping hunks of bread into bubbling cauldrons of cheese. Next comes salad, which you don’t dip into anything. For…

The Delaware Liberty Bell replica

April 26, 1988: I’m in a sophomore math class at Father Judge, an all-boys Catholic High School in Northeast Philadelphia. I sit sideways at my desk, doodling in my notebook and not comprehending algebra. I’m talking to Jon Shookowsky, one of my twin best friends. Together, we’re the rhythm section of Attix, a hard-rock, mostly-cover…

The Dallas Baptist University Liberty Bell

They say everything’s bigger in Texas. So it should come as no surprise that while every state has a Liberty Bell, the Lone Star State has nine. A bank in the aptly named town of Liberty has one. Three can be found in plazas and parks throughout the state. Another five Liberty Bells currently reside…

Portland’s exploding Liberty Bell

Portland, Oregon: It’s the Saturday before the first Thanksgiving of the 1970s, and shit has been blowing up with alarming regularity. Last month, a dynamite bomb at the University of Oregon in Eugene — the first of two bombings on campus this year — caused $50k in damages and, miraculously, no injuries. Ten days ago, state officials…

Good Vibrations — the American Buddhist Liberty Bells

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 3, 1987: The parade approaches Independence Hall, the birthplace of American liberty, the building on the back of the hundred dollar bill. Two-hundred spunky young roller skating gymnasts in short shorts, knee pads and striped knee-high athletic socks slow their roll. With expert precision and youthful abandon, they climb on top of each…

It tolls for thee — the Hawaiian Liberty Bell

“Mom, honk the horn!” a 10-year old boy calls out excitedly from the back of the station wagon. His mother ignores him. “Honk the horn, mom!!” the boy repeats, now more animated. His mother continues to ignore him. “Honk the horn, mom!!!,” all three kids, who rarely agree on anything, now chant in unison. It’s the…

Gone to Carolina | Part 2, North Carolina

Part 2: North Carolina | Lessons from the Gay Dolphin There is no straight shot from Columbia to Emerald Isle, so instead, we plan to drive east until we hit the ocean, then follow the coast up to Emerald Isle. Myrtle Beach, here we come. A lesson from the Gay Dolphin Our stop in Myrtle…

Gone to Carolina | Part 1, South Carolina

Part 1: South Carolina | On baby turtles, floaty pens and the nature of monuments Oversold We’ve all been there. Your flight is about to board. The gate attendant seems just now to notice it’s oversold. They get on the loudspeaker, and the auction begins. Someone is not getting on this plane—who’s it gonna be?…

That time Hitler stole the Liberty Bell

Cablegram: May 6, 1940,  To: Herr Hitler, Berlin “Only accurate replica of the Liberty Bell in Independence Hall, Philadelphia, was donated to Czechoslovakia by Americans when that country became a republic. We understand all bronze articles are being melted down and since we have use for this valuable bell we offer $3,000 if delivered at New York…

Reverend Joseph B. Head, the Liberty Bell Minister

“You have never met a character like me.” Part showmanship, part satisfaction guarantee; this is how the Reverend Joseph B. Head, the Liberty Bell minister, introduces himself. Between 1975 and 1985, Head’s roadshow would bring 4 different full-size Liberty Bell replicas to over a million children at more than 900 schools in 36 states. It’s…

Annecy Liberty Bell replica

This is the unlikely story of how one small French town came to have its very own Liberty Bell On a picturesque hillside, high in the French Alps, Edouard de Reydet carefully follows a centuries-old formula. With the precision of a scientist and the artistry of a chef, he combines local earth, ground to a fine powder…

National Treasury: the case of DC’s missing Liberty Bell

How exactly does a one-ton Liberty Bell replica disappear? Since I launched this site, folks have reached out to me with stories about various Liberty Bell replicas. I’ve heard from other bell hunters, private bell owners and folks trying to solve their own Liberty Bell mysteries. Last year someone sent me a link to a Washington…

The Texas Liberty Bell replica

Lyle Lovett’s That’s right (you’re not from Texas) plays as we cross the Brazos River in our rented Nissan. Dawn drifts in and out of sleep while I drive. We’re now squarely in Texas A&M University territory. Aggie country. We’re here to visit a unique, little-known piece of state history — the Texas Liberty Bell…

Nebraska Liberty Bell replica

40,000 Nebraskans converged at 9th and Q in downtown Lincoln to greet the guest of honor on this hot July afternoon. Parents lifted small children over railings just to catch a glimpse. Pickpockets preyed on the distracted throngs. Faces in the crowd were brick red from the heat. Some fainted and had to be carted off…

Phil Tovrea’s Liberty Bell Replica: Phoenix Arizona

In my quest to see all 57 Liberty Bell replicas cast in 1950 as part of a U.S. Treasury Department savings bond drive, I’ve learned there are many more full-size, functional Liberty Bell replicas in this world — in locations far and wide— from fondue restaurant in Delaware, to a park in Tokyo, to a…

Washington Liberty Bell replica

The Washington state Liberty Bell replica is hidden away right in the center of town. Most visitors likely pass over it without noticing. It sits in a lush outdoor plaza on the back side of the beautiful 1911 Union Station building which served as the western terminus of Northern Pacific’s transcontinental railroad. The building now hosts the US…

Rhode Island Liberty Bell replica

We wrapped up our New England bell tour in Providence, visiting Liberty Bell replica number 37 — our 7th and final bell of the tour. Our first stop in Providence was the 111th Annual Little Picture Show at the Providence Art Club.

Massachusetts Liberty Bell replica

We left Augusta in the morning, spent a couple hours wandering Portland and arrived in Boston around 3:00. Dawn was here a year ago to see a client and I was here about 25 years ago, but we’ve never been together. This is the first city on our bell tour where we’ll stay more than…

Maine Liberty Bell replica

Leaving Montpelier around 12:30 pm, we powered east through Maine, mainly in the rain. Primarily on back roads, we passed though many small towns, some scary, definitely haunted abandoned lake campgrounds, saw lots of moose crossing signs and no moose. By the time we got to Augusta (4:30), it was  dark and raining heavily. We…

Vermont Liberty Bell replica

We arrived in Montpelier from Concord around 11:00 am. It was chilly and raining lightly, but otherwise lovely. We parked across from the old Pavilion Hotel, now home to the Governor’s offices and the Vermont State Museum. We climbed the front stairs and met a very nice lady at the entrance to the museum. When she asked if…

New Hampshire Liberty Bell replica

We arrived in Concord NH after dark and the Bell is not lit, but I was impressed with the flash on the iPhone 6. Reminds me of NE in the snow. Beautiful town. Looking forward to exploring more tomorrow.   

New York Liberty Bell replica

The Liberty Bell replica in Albany NY is located inside the State Education Building across the street from the Capitol. You need to schedule a tour to see the bell up close, but some very nice guards let us in and gave us a quick look around. Everyone we met in Albany was exceedingly nice….

Fort Collins Mini Liberty Bell

  Thanks to an inside connection at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, I was able to visit this adorable little mini Liberty Bell replica. It lives in storage just a block from our office. I passed by countless times, never knowing this little guy was in there all by his lonesome (along with lots…

Independence Hall: Home of the Founding Fathers — Rapid City, SD

En route to our Lake Superior summer vacation, we decided to take the scenic route from from Colorado to Minnesota. On our way from Wall, SD to Mount Rushmore, we were surprised and delighter to find Independence Hall along the highway — conveniently located between Reptile Gardens and Bear County (just like it is in Philadelphia)….

North Dakota Liberty Bell replica

I took a slight, 200 mile diversion on a business trip to take in the North Dakota Bell. It resides in Century High School in Bismarck. No, I’m not practicing my mime moves, the Bell is protected behind plexiglass.

Wyoming Liberty Bell replica

Dawn and I finally got to the Wyoming Bell (the closest one to our home) in March on our way back from birding in Nebraska. It was a beautiful, quiet Sunday in Cheyenne.

Colorado Liberty Bell replica

My quest to see all the bells started, accidentally, with the Denver Liberty Bell replica. In 1996 I moved from Philadelphia to Colorado. The following year, I was walking downtown from my apartment in Capitol Hill and decided to cut through the park across from the Capitol building. I came upon a sight as familiar as it was…

Connecticut Liberty Bell replica

The Connecticut Liberty Bell is located in the State Capitol building in Hartford, CT. The building is architecturally stunning, filled and topped by large sculptures of the state heroes and heroines. This bell has been adorned with a replica pained cracked. Date of Visit: January 5, 2012 Address: Connecticut State Capitol (inside), 210 Capitol Avenue,…

New Jersey Liberty Bell replica

The New Jersey Liberty Bell can be found in Perth Amboy. The building in the background is the oldest City Hall in continuous use in the United States. It was built during 1714-1717 or 1718, burned in a fire in 1731 and rebuilt again in 1745. It was again burned in 1765 or 1766, and…

Iowa Liberty Bell replica

Date of visit: December 29, 2008 Location: Iowa State Capitol, Grand Ave. and E. 12th St., Des Moines, IA

Maryland Liberty Bell replica

Flying into Baltimore on our way to visit my folks in Delaware, we stopped off in Annapolis Maryland to bag the bell. It’s on the beautiful campus of St. John’s College.

US Treasury Liberty Bell replica

It’s not easy to get close to the real Liberty Bell on the White House grounds, so this was the best we could do. This oversized Liberty Bell lives by the bus station in downtown DC.

Philadelphia 2005

DLiberty Center – Philadelphia. Tom, Ava Ringerud, Dawn Putney Dayle Putney and Ava Ringerud

Minnesota Liberty Bell replica

Date of visit: January 18, 2004 Location: Minnesota State capitol – 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Saint Paul, MN. Ava Frances Ringerud and the Minnesota bell. Temperature: -20 degrees farenheit  

Tennessee Liberty Bell replica

Nashville, Tennessee Liberty Bell Replica Date of visit: December 5, 2003 Location: Tennessee State Capitol, 600 Charlotte Avenue, Nashville, TN

Utah Liberty Bell replica

Date of visit: August 15, 2003 Location: Utah State Capitol (inside) – 350 North Main Street Salt Lake City, UT