Fire damaged Jefferson County Indiana courthouse

The Jefferson County courthouse in historic Madison, Indiana was built in 1855. In May of 2009 a fire broke out in the clock tower during a construction project. The fire destroyed the  clock tower and most of the third floor.

Photo by Jamey Cobb, May 20, 2009

Restored after the fire







The massive 3100 pound bell in the tower fell into the third floor as the fire destroyed the bell supports.  The bell was removed from the wreckage by crane after the fire was put out. The repairs on the courthouse were completed in 2011, including a modern chimes system in place of the bell.

New home for the bell

The bell became a project for a couple of trade classes and a teacher from the Madison Consolidated Schools. This group designed and built an open-air structure on the courthouse grounds to house the bell. The bell has a distinctive strip of figures and the markings “Buckeye Foundry” and “1864 Cincinnati.” One story says that the bell is tuned to the musical note “E”. The project was dedicated in 2014.

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