Community center, bell tower at Birnamwood will be dedicated|
|A program will be held Saturday for the dedication of the bell tower and community center at Birnamwood.|
The ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. at the complex at 326 Railroad St.
It is being held after the final phase of the stunning project, the bell tower, and the landscaping were completed.
It will be a gala Saturday afternoon in Birnamwood with the ceremony officially welcoming the buildings that will serve the community for decades to come, and provide entertainment with the popular band, Loviní Country, performing.
A barbecue sandwich luncheon will be served and a free will offering collected.
Called the Matsche Community Center in recognition of one of the major contributors to the project, it offers a magnet for a number of events, offices and balloting.
The bell tower is the final and artistic touch and displays one of the communityís historic artifacts, the bell from the high school dating to 1880.
That bell, the centerpiece of the tower, has an interesting history.
It came from the original Birnamwood High School erected in 1880. When the building was demolished in the early 1970s, the bell was acquired by Nelda McNeil, a teacher at the high school. She brought it to her home in Antigo retaining it as memorabilia of the Birnamwood High School era.
McNeil later gave it to her neighbor, Robert Teipner. He built a belfry at the family cottage on Post Lake where the it remained many years. It was rung in the evening as a signal to return home from fishing trips. T
he bell exchanged hands again when Teipner sold it to his friend, Dean DeWan. He knew the bell had historical significance and after making inquiries in 2012, he decided to donate it to become a part of the project.
Both DeWan and Teipner felt the bellís rightful place was in Birnamwood.
They were right, and it is there in a tremendous new building. Saturday the entire complex will be dedicated.
The community center and bell tower in Birnamwood.
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