West Side Elementary holds bell ringing ceremony with original school’s bell to mark Constitution Day


ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) – A local elementary school is celebrating Constitution Day by ringing the bell it used back in 1929 when it first opened.

According to a release from Elizabethton City Schools, West Side Elementary was formed on August 8, 1929.

The school days at West Side always began with the ringing of the school bell.

When the school moved to Burgie Street, the large bell did not go with it.

Ownership of the bell transitioned through multiple people before it was donated back to the school for the community.

According to the release, West Side Elementary Principal John Wright asked Elizabethton High School teacher Dustin Hensley and two EHS students to work on the restoration project.

EHS students Caleb Metros and Kenyu Patel also contacted TCAT and Carter’s Powder Caoating to assist in restoring the bell.

The company that manufactured the bell also was able to make a stand for it since they still had the original cast.

Originally, the bell ringing ceremony was to be held on West Side’s 90th anniversary, but the closure of schools due to COVID-19 delayed that.

The school decided to hold the ceremony on Thursday, September 17 as it is Constitution Day.

Members of the Watauga Vally Fire and Drum Corp conducted a presentation of the Constitution before the bell was rung.

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