A pair of bells — from the old Mineville and Moriah schools — are now on display at Moriah Central School thanks Brooke Mildon, a seventh grade student. She was asisted by Bill Larrow, school superintendent.
A Moriah student has revived a portion of her community’s heritage.
A pair of bells — from the old Mineville and Moriah schools — are now on display at Moriah Central School thanks Brooke Mildon, a seventh grade student.
Mildon, Cadette Girl Scout, led the project to retrieve the school bells from storage and place them near the entrance of the current school in Port Henry.
Mineville, Moriah and Port Henry schools ceased to exist Feb. 21, 1968, when they combined to create the present Moriah Central School. The school bells have been in storage since that day.
“Today is a very special day as I would like to dedicate the bells from the old Moriah and Mineville schools to Moriah Central School and the people of my community,” Mildon said at a dedication ceremony Dec. 7. “I pursued this project because I had a passion for the historic bells and decided to choose this project to earn my Silver Award in Girl Scouts.
“I have learned so much about being a team leader and what team-work really means,” she said. “Thank you Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York, especially Linda Stephen and Dee Streeter, for this opportunity and to all the amazing people who have helped me reach this goal.”
As part of her project, Mildon researched the history of the old schools and the bells. She interviewed former students, read old yearbooks and met with the town historian.
“I hope these bells and information displayed bring back fond memories for those of you who attended these schools and for those who did not, I hope you enjoy learning about a piece of your heritage,” Mildon said.
The Girl Scout noted the contributions of the community in making the project a reality.
“I would like to thank everyone who has assisted me in my Silver Award project by donating in any way whether it was baking for bake sales, donating bottles and cans, purchasing food from the bake sales or the spaghetti dinner,” Mildon said. “For starters, I would like to say a special thank you to Mr. (Moriah Superintendent Bill) Larrow, who was my project adviser for all of his guidance and support throughout my project. I would also like to thank Volker Husel from Synthesis for all of his architectural services. I would like to thank Joan Daby and Betty LaMoria, our retired and current town historians, for their knowledge and helping me research the bells.
“Next, I would like to thank Joe and Theresa Rodriguez, Ralph Jaquish, Frank Christian and everyone else who shared memories of these two bells and the schools they came from,” she said. “My dad and mom (Bob and Val Mildon) for all of their help with my money earning Activities. The Knights of Columbus for letting me use their building to hold a spaghetti dinner, with special thanks to Rick and Pam Norton, Stella Mildon, my sister Girl Scout Alethea Goralczyk, Becky Hanchet, Travis Hunsdon, Samantha O’Connor and Caleigh LaMour. A huge thank you to my dad, Chris Ball, Max Mesones, Jesse Mars, Walt Maher, Paul Connery, Dave Tesar and Dayton Dedrick for helping me build the displays to showcase these historic bells. If I have forgotten anyone I deeply apologize.”
The Mineville School, with the nickname Red Flames, served students from 1906 until the 1968 merger. It utilized Memorial Hall, also known as the VFW, for its gym, kitchen dining area and some classrooms.
The Moriah School, with the nickname Green Raiders, served students from 1837 until the 1968 merger.
“The bells were used to start the school day and call students in from recess (lunch),” Mildon said. “These bells were used because students and staff could not hear the inside bells if they were out on the playground or sitting out on school grounds.
“The bell from Moriah High was also used to alert the firemen and community when there was a fire,” she added.