News Details

Historic Courthouse Bell Returning To County

(Woodbury, NJ)  Gloucester County Freeholder Director Stephen M. Sweeney and Freeholder Helene M. Reed announced today that on Friday, May 25th at 12:30 the historic Courthouse Bell will be removed from the Woodbury Fire Department, Goodwill Station 5-2, in order to be reunited with the County.

The Woodbury Fire Department has graciously agreed to let the County reclaim the bell.  I am very thankful to them for taking care of the bell for all these years and for returning it to Gloucester County so that this piece of history can be restored and given a place of honor in the new justice center, Freeholder Director Sweeney said.

In the year 1816, the bell was placed in the County Courthouse Steeple, which was originally constructed in 1787.  When the 1787 Courthouse was torn down for the building of the 1885 Courthouse, the bell was saved and sold to the Fire Warden of the Woodbury Fire Department to be used as a fire bell. 

Sweeney said, The bells first home was in the county courthouse, then it served our community by ringing out fire calls.  It rested in the fire departments steeple long after its purpose was done.  It is fitting to bring the bell to the Justice Center so that residents and visitors can appreciate times gone by and recognize how much we as a society have advanced in communications, architecture and technology.

Those with an interest in local history can find the original cornerstone from the 1787 Courthouse that housed the bell just below the 1885 cornerstone of the Old Courthouse located at Broad and Delaware Street in Woodbury.  The Woodbury Fire Department history dates back to 1799 near the time of Woodbury becoming the county seat.

The bell will serve as a reminder of how Gloucester County has flourished for over two centuries and pay tribute to Woodburys historic role as the county seat for all those years past and for many years to come, noted Freeholder Helene M. Reed.

The Goodwill Station 5-2 is located at 642 North Broad Street. The removal will be done by Delaware Valley Erectors of Sicklerville.