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Historical Group Seeks Bell From Kittanning’s Town Hall

by Renatta Signorini

Leader Times

Thursday, September 9, 2010

KITTANNING A local group is on a quest to find a bell that once stood high above Market Street in Kittanning’s former town hall.

Joie Pryde has driven plenty of back roads in search of the bell without luck.

“We are on a quest to acquire that bell, restore it” and get boroough permission to place it in Riverfront Park, Pryde said.

It’s the latest mission of the Kit-Han-Ne Questers, a group of local residents dedicated to the preservation and restoration of historic sites and artifacts.  The group is hosting the 11th annual Antiquing Along the Allegheny this Saturday in an effort to raise money for reatoration of the bell if they ever find it.

This year’s Antiquing Along the Allegheny features about 60 vendors sprawled out in Kittanning Riverfront Park, selling antiques and handmade crafts including toys, furniture and glassware.  Quester Carolyn Schrecengost said some vendors are local residents who don’t have their own shops.

“We  have them coming from all around,” said Quester Rovena Chauvaux.

She will be one of the vendors using the event to make room at own home for more antiques.  Chauvaux said she will be selling vases, toys and Christmas decorations, among other items.

The local chapter of the Questers is linked to the International Questers, an antique study group with members in the United States and Canada.  The group requires that chapters spend any money raised on restoration projects.

In the past, the Kit-Han-Ne Questers have restored stained glass windows, the portraits of four judges in the courthouse and old theater seats.

The project completed with funds from last year’s antiquing event was purchasing three lights for the kitchen and dining room at the McCain House Museum in Kittanning that are now on display.

“We wanted to get the time period suitable,” Chauvaux said.

The new lights are circa 1900 and replaced fixtures that were from a more recent time period.

“Really, they stuck out like a sore thumb, especially the ones in the kitchen because they were obviously ’50s,” Pryde said.

She has gotten a variety of information on the local bell that once hung in Kittanning’s town hall, which was located in the building that now houses First National Bank, but has not had luck finding the piece of local history. Pryde said she has learned that the bell is apparently dated 1906 and could be located somewhere in the Harrison Township area.

Historical societies in that area have made mention of a “bell haven” that was once in a collectors yard, but Pryde has not been able to locate it.

“We’ve hit a dead end everywhere,” she said.

Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation

100 West Station Square Drive, Suite 450

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Phone: 412-471-5808  |  Fax: 412-471-1633