The Harbour Grace Fire Bell is a nineteenth century freestanding bell tower and bell situated on Water Street in Harbour Grace, NL. The designation is confined to the footprint of the bell tower.
Statement of Significance
Formal Recognition Type
Municipal Heritage Building, Structure or Land
The Harbour Grace Fire Bell has been designated a municipal heritage site by the Town of Harbour Grace due to its historic and cultural value.
The Harbour Grace Fire Bell has historic value because it is a nineteenth century style alarm bell used in the town for many years. This bell is the last of its kind. Harbour Grace once had three of the bells, located strategically in the town. They were meant to be used in the early signalling of fires in the town. The Town of Harbour Grace boasts the oldest volunteer fire brigade in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, having been established in 1830 and operating in the present day. Early fire warnings were simply word of mouth but the town soon implemented the use of these bells. However, after a devastating fire in 1944 the bells ceased to be used and an electric siren was installed.
The Harbour Grace Fire Bell has cultural value because it represents an aspect of the long-running Volunteer Fire Brigade, for which the community is very proud. The Bell, the last of its kind, is a standing reminder of firefighter bravery and heroism. Beneath this bell is a plaque which is a memorial to all firefighters and it reads: “The Last Alarm, Dedicated to the memory of all deceased firefighters of the Harbour Grace Volunteer Fire Brigade; Also in honour of the present firefighters who protect our town.”
Source: Passed by a motion of Harbour Grace Town Council, held January 10, 2006.
Character Defining Elements
All those elements that embody the nineteenth century qualities of the fire bell, including:
-the bell located within a wooden, freestanding tower;
-the size, shape, height and massing of the wooden tower;
-the memorial plaque located beneath the tower; and
-the red color of the tower making it highly visible and associated with the usual red color of fire trucks.
Location and History
Town of Harbour Grace
1944 - 1944
Harbour Grace Volunteer Fire Brigade