Emancipation bell tower and plaza given grant from council

December 8, 2012 by  

Norwich City Council is to front $100,000 to the building of a new plaza and bell tower ahead of a memorable celebration on the site of the plaza in January 2013. The money has been loaned to the Emancipation Proclamation Commemorative Committee.

The committee has already received notice that it will be allocated a grant for the project, although it has said this will not be received in time for the construction start date. The chairman of the committee, Dale Plummer, told the council aldermen:

“We have a definite commitment from the state (Department of Economic and Community Development), but it may be necessary to expend some money before it comes in.

“It will be repaid soon.”

The project will see the construction of an 18-foot bell tower, complete with a 250-pound bell. A new plaza outside city hall will also be created.

This plaza will be used to display the tower on a permanent basis. Before then though, the space will be used to celebrate the 150-year anniversary of what the tower represents.

In 1860, President-elect Abraham Lincoln held campaigns in Norwich. A short time later, in 1863, Lincoln introduced the Emancipation Proclamation. Outlawing slavery in the Confederacy, the ruling was a huge step forward for the U.S.

Norwich marked the ruling with lavish celebrations outside City Hall. To mark the anniversary, banner printing, poster printing, and all manner of paraphernalia is likely to be on display again in 2013 too.

Once the bell tower is in its permanent position, Plummer also expects interest will continue; drawing many visitors from all over the nation.