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Apr 24, 2017 11:11 AM EDT

Bell Missing A Century Ago From Colorado State University Finally Found [VIDEO]

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A nearly 500-pound bell that hung at Colorado State University's Old Main was stolen almost 100 years ago. Now the piece of history is back on the Fort Collins campus and will soon peal from a tower in the new Alumni Center.

Associated Students of Colorado State University president Daniela Pineda Soracá said they always thought the original bell had been melted down for scrap during World War II. The bell was manufactured in 1894 and was acquired by CSU sometime around 1910.

The bell was hung in the tower of Old Main and the chiming of the bell announced the start of classes. In 1915, the bell was traditionally rung after every football victory.

When the bell's clapper was stolen, students continued to ring it by pounding on it using sledge hammers. Due to repeated hammer blows the bell cracked in 1919. One night a group of at least four students climbed the tower and brought the bell down, Denver Post reported.

The four students slipped away unseen and took the bell to a nearby farm owned by one of the thieves and buried it. Years after, the farm was put for sale. They dug up the artifact and moved it to an off-campus fraternity house, where it was kept for a number of years.

John, an alumnus who prefers to stay anonymous said the story of the bell was passed down through the fraternity from year to year. Kristi Bohlender, executive director of the CSU Alumni Association said the bell was moved again and it had crossed state lines. The fraternity members who kept the secret decided to return the bell.

Bohlender received a call from a lawyer in spring of 2016. She was asked what the university would do if the Old Main bell was returned. A few days later, her husband called from home and said there was a bell in the driveway.

The bell was restored and a new clapper was casted. The bell arrived back on campus in late March and was included in a tower of the Iris & Michael Smith Alumni Center.

© 2017 University Herald, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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