MALDEN BRIDGE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A church bell has reportedly been stolen from the outside of the Malden Bridge Community Center in Columbia County. Lucinda Buckley, President of the Center, said the bell went missing between 7 p.m. on April 24 and 7 a.m. on April 25.
The Old Chatham Bell was cast by MeNeely & Kimberly Founders of Troy on September 17, 1878. It stands 4 feet tall, 3 feet wide and weighs 1,248 pounds. The 145 year old bronze bell has all the pastor and trustees names marked on it, said Buckley. The names include Starks, Wilbor, Wait, VanAlstyn, Mickle, and Thorn.
Buckley said the bell has an attached MeNeely and Kimberly Yoke. The A-frame for the bell was left behind at the community center. The Malden Bridge Community Center is located at the point where Albany Turnpike, Route 66 and Shaker Museum Road meet in Malden Bridge.
The bell has a long history in the Chatham area. The bell was originally made for the Old Chatham Methodist Church and stayed there for more than 80 years until the church had to be demolished in 1960 for being structurally unsound.
In 1975, the bell was moved to Malden Bridge in front of the Methodist Church, which later turned into the Malden Bridge Community Center. Buckley said the Center has been planning a capital improvement project to make repairs to the bell in recent months.
Buckley said the authorities have been notified about the bell’s disappearance. If you have any information about where the bell might be, you can contact the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office or the Malden Bridge Community Center at MaldenBridgeCC@gmail.com.