Morning Meanderings… Bells of My Home Town… Feels Like Stars Hollow


Good morning!  Happy Thursday!  I can not wait until my sleeping patterns return to normal!  Up until 1:30 am when I forced myself to bed (wasn’t tired)… then I toss until 2:00 am, sleep a bit wake up at 5:00 decide I need another hour and then wake up at 9:00 am.  GAH!  Too late to have breakfast when I have a lunch date at 11:30 am so hungry and holding…. LOL

Well… there is always coffee. 🙂

Last night I had a Library Board meeting.  We were going over Strategic Planning before our regular meeting so I arrived int he parking lot at 5:00 pm for our 5:15 meeting.  As I exited my car I heard the bells play their song on the hour like they always do.  This got me thinking…

As long as I have lived in Brainerd which is *cough cough* for the most part all my life, the bells have rung on the hour in town.  They play a little tune, it’s pretty, occasionally it is seasonal, and it is always on the hour.


I don’t know why.  I don’t know how.  I don’t know if it starts at a certain hour and ends at a certain hour… I don’t know if it goes all night…. I had never really thought to ask.

We have one of the city council members on our board so I asked… and she told.


The bells are carillon bells and they are there because a woman with the last name McKay was a big part of Brainerd back in the day.  She had served as a nurse in the war and upon her death requested there to be bells that chime from the court-house on the hour in memory of those who died in the Bataan.  Her request was put is place and someone actually manages the music, programs the bells to toll out their song – different each hour.


Sadly, I know little more than that.  I Googled this last night thinking I would find information on the bells and I found very little.  There is an article from 2011 in our local paper but the archives will not open it and three calls to the Dispatch this morning to access the information could not help me.  I could not even find images of the bells on-line, although other parts of Minnesota, like the Mayo Clinic proudly display theirs.

Ok – enough of my bell obsession.  I like them because I think they are unique.  They remind me a bit of what I would expect out of a town like Stars Hollow (Gilmore Girls people… if you haven’t watched the show you must – all episodes are now available on Netflix).  The bells are sweet sounding and I clearly wanted to write about them today….

Time for more coffee.  Lunch date, projects to work on, and reading this evening.  I will try to be a bit more sane tomorrow.

19 thoughts on “Morning Meanderings… Bells of My Home Town… Feels Like Stars Hollow

  1. If you are “into” bells yu might want to check out a Michigan Bell Collector and Dealer. His barn in Brooklyn is FILLED with bells of all sizes and histories. Don’t know the website for cerain byt Brosamer’s Bells should be pretty close. It’s fascinating.!

  2. Hi Sheila! There’s also a wonderful tradition at the Champaign-Urbana campus of the University of Illinois with the carillon bells at Altgeld Hall. I had posted the Christmas video the U of I did which shows the reaction when there’s an unexpected interruption of the bells. It’s funny, because sometimes you don’t notice the clock chimes or the noon whistle, whatever the sound, until they suddenly goes silent. Here’s the link:

  3. Ha-ha…love the Stars Hollow reference. I have been binge-watching it on Netflix. Does your town have an annoying “Taylor” character?

    I loved the Gilmore Girls episode where Luke and Lorelai broke the bells.

  4. I love hearing about things like this, Sheila, and as sad as the reason is for the hourly bell-ringing, it’s also beautiful and gives the town character 🙂 I wonder why they won’t open the archives for you! *sigh*

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