Bicentennial keepsakes now available

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 14, 2003

This summer, Lawrence County's Bicentennial Bell-- all 400 or so pounds of it-- will be cast at the Lawrence County fairgrounds. Replicas of the bronze bell are available now for those who want a memento of the once-in-a-lifetime event.

Replica bells, priced at $40 and $60, are available at the Coal Grove Village Hall, the Lawrence County Commission Office at the courthouse and all three locations of Stephens and Son Insurance in South Point, Chesapeake and Proctorville. For $500, you can purchase a larger bell with a map of the state of Ohio perched atop it, the words "Lawrence County written on one side."

Doug Cade, who is both a member of the Lawrence County Bicentennial Committee and the Lawrence County Granges, said the bell sales have been brisk so far.

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"The first couple of days, sales were tremendous," Cade said. "At the commission office, we sold out of bells the second day."

The Lawrence County Granges are coordinating the keepsake sales. All proceeds are going to Lawrence County's official Bicentennial project: the restoration of the historic Old Lawrence County Jail at Burlington.

"This is a great opportunity for people to support the local community, since all the money goes to the jail project, to make it an underground railroad, and to preserve the county's history," Cade said. "It's also a great way to celebrate the state's birth and bicentennial."

Bicentennial bells are being produced in limited numbers. The #1 bells in each category will be auctioned off during the fair, again with all proceeds going to the jail project.

Also on sale are lapel pins depicting the Higgins Barn at Linnville, chosen as Lawrence County's Bicentennial Barn, and silver and gold bicentennial medallions.