By Kate Gaier
5:30 pm October 19, 2006
It's been 20 years since fire ripped through Grady County's Courthouse, destroying nearly everything in its path. Now a part of that courthouse and its history will soon be returned.
The piece of history we're talking about is the courthouse bell which was made in 1908. It survived a fire and a fall from over three stories up and now it's returning to the courthouse lawn.
Residents of Grady County have been donating since January, hoping to raise enough funds to pay for a bell tower.
The 25-foot structure is to stand on the Northwest corner of the courthouse lawn for all to admire and will house the 2,300 pound bell salvaged from the original courthouse.
Wayne Hadden is on the bell tower committee and said, "In the process of building the new courthouse, the clock tower and the bell tower wasn't included. The bell was pretty much put away for 26 years."
That bell has been cleaned up and is now set to make another appearance that residents are hoping will be a permanent one. The bell tower committee decided this week to go ahead with the construction. They're hoping to have everything in place within 90 days.
Grady County residents favored the bell tower project so much they raised more than $80,000 in less than a year, all of which came from donations within the community.