715-924-3195 | M/W/F 9-6pm, Tu/Th 1-6pm, Sat 9-12, Sun Closed | Chetek, WI director@calhounmemoriallibrary.org

About the library

Origin of the Big Bell on the Lawn

The large, cast-iron bell was used as a fire alarm in the early days of Chetek. It was mounted on the municipal water tower a few years after it was build in 1904. Previous to this time, alarms were sounded from the Methodist Church belfry.

 The bell is 4 feet in diameter and very heavy. Ringing it would require great strength to swing it back and forth, and the bell motion would exert enormous stress on its mountings. Therefore, this bell never moved back and forth, striking the rim to produce a bong, bong, bong sound.

A swinging bell makes the ding-dong sound because one strike faces you and the next strike faces away.

When the city built a new water tower in 1984, the old one was demolished and the bell came to the library lawn for display.

History of our Library

A complete write up of our history is currently under construction.