Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Bells of El Camino Real-- Part 2

In 1914, Mrs. Forbes started the California Bell Company because of the heavy demand for souvenirs bells and full-sized bells. By the end of the 1900s, most of the original 450 bells had been removed because of widening and modernization of the road. Others were lost to collectors or the scrap heap. //// In 1933, the Calfornia Division of Highways took over the care of the bells. In 1963, it allotted $19,000 for 81 replicas to be built. //// In San Bruno, a Mission Bell was dedicated at the City Hall and in the 1990s there was another revival movement to replace all of the old bell sites with modern inexpensive cement bells made to look like the earlier ones. //// Mrs. Forbes company is still in business at www.californiabell.com. A solid brass bell went for $3,095 (unpainted $2,295). The bells are 18 by 18 inches and weigh 85 pounds. The 1910 bells cost $25 with $2 shipping. //// You can find the most El Camino Real bells along US-101. //// In 2005, 555 bells were erected. //// Sure Glad They're Keeping Those Bells. A Real Bell-Ringer. --RoadDog

No comments: