Ravalli County Coverage

Aug 2, 2013 5:16 PM by Dennis Bragg - KPAX News

Historic school bell may have home in Hamilton

HAMILTON - The historic Grantsdale Elementary School may be gone for good, but it looks like the school's original bell is going to have a new home in Hamilton.

The school was shuttered in June, closing down what was widely considered the oldest continuously operating school in the State of Montana.

To preserve the history of not only the school, but Grantsdale itself, the Bitterroot Valley Historical Society has launched a drive to move the bell and place it on permanent display outside the museum in Hamilton.

But that requires permission from the Ravalli County commissioners, since the lawn outside the historic courthouse is controlled by the county.

The historical society is working with the Hamilton School District to dismantle the bell "tower", which was erected in the mid-1990s, helping to pay for the re-location with ceremonial bricks and pavers bearing the names of donors.

This week county commissioners discussed the idea with county maintenance staff and decided to endorse the idea, as long as a few provisions are satisfied for access and positioning of the bell.

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