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BEHIND THE SCENES: Couple hoping to complete their schoolhouse restoration with bell

EloraFergusToday reporter Keegan Kozolanka takes us behind the scenes

Alex Ciccone and Brittany MacIntyre, a young couple who are restoring a historic schoolhouse near Guelph Lake, are searching for the original schoolhouse bell to complete the heritage facade of the building. The bell is currently part of a memorial in a cairn at Marden Park, and they are requesting that the township move it back to its original location. However, the township's heritage committee has recommended that the bell remain at Marden Park, as it serves as a commemoration of local one-room schoolhouses.

Ciccone and MacIntyre believe that the bell would be better protected and appreciated at the schoolhouse, as it is part of the community's history. If their request is not successful, they plan to look at getting a replica made from the original foundry in Missouri. Mayor Chris White has stated that staff and council will consider their proposal at a later date, and there are options beyond purchasing the bell outright that could be explored.

Video Summary:

A couple in Guelph has purchased an old one-room schoolhouse that was built in 1891 with plans to restore it to its former glory. The schoolhouse is not designated as a heritage structure, so it could be easily demolished, but the couple is choosing to restore it. The community has mixed feelings about their plan to return the schoolhouse bell to its original location, which is currently in a park and part of a commemorative memorial created in 1967. The heritage committee has recommended that the bell stay put, as it has had a whole life as a commemorative piece for historical schoolhouses in the area.

There is no clear precedent for moving historical artifacts from one location to another. The schoolhouse bell was originally located in a park that is now flooded and part of Guelph Lake. It was moved to its current location in the 1970s when the park was created. However, bringing it back to the original location is a unique situation. The couple is determined to complete the look of the restored schoolhouse by returning the bell, but they will have to respect the fact that the bell has been a part of the commemorative memorial for many years. The community is appreciative of the couple's efforts to restore the schoolhouse, but opinions seem to be conflicting regarding the school bell.