|Westboro's bell - now at Ben Franklin Place in Nepean|
(Photo courtesy of http://ottmem.blogspot.ca/2015/04/nepean-bell.html)
One of the most intriguing stories I have heard since my childhood, and which continues to get brought up regularly even now, is the story of the missing bell in Westboro's Town Hall. The heritage building acted as Nepean's government headquarters from 1896 until 1966; the last 16 of which was after Westboro had become part of Ottawa, no longer part of Nepean. In 1966, the bell was removed in the night, and relocated to the new Nepean town hall. For 50+ years, a war of words has been waged over ownership of the bell; is it more a piece of Nepean's history or Westboro's? There is no easy answer. And though there are obviously bigger issues in the community today, the topic is still an interesting one. A lot of interest has been expressed in putting a bell back into the empty belfry at the old town hall (now the Churchill Senior's Recreation Centre), and I'm sure someday we'll see something up there. I think a great opportunity was missed with Canada 150 grant money, but I know both the Westboro and Westboro Beach Community Associations continue to explore options!
Here is the full history of the bell, right back to exactly when it was first ordered, even through which store, and when it was delivered!
Special thanks to Ron Statham for once again providing some first-hand experience on another exciting piece of Westboro history!
|Westboro Council Minutebook - May 26, 1916|