The Waterloo Fire Department is kicking off a campaign to raise funds to build a permanent outdoor display for their 100 year-old bell. The planned “WFD Memorial Bell Plaza” will be located on the grounds of the recently completed Waterloo firehouse.
The bronze bell, cast in St. Louis in the late 1800’s, was a fixture in the early days of the Waterloo Fire Department and served as a “paging system” for alerting volunteers of fire calls. “We’ve heard they rang the bell in a series of rings, according to the location of the call”, said Joe Krump, WFD President and Chairman of the Memorial Bell Plaza project. “It hung at our last firehouse, built in 1963 and the old City Hall/Firehouse before that, built in 1933” said Krump. “For whatever reason, it was not included in the plans for our new facility. So, with the community’s help, we’re going to give this important piece our history a fitting home”.
The “WFD Memorial Bell Plaza” will consist of the brick and iron bell structure in the center of four brick paver fields laid out in a Maltese Cross pattern. The Plaza will be located in the greenspace “island” in the south parking lot of the new fire station on Illinois Avenue. Benches and landscaping will complete the park-like setting.
No tax funds will be used for any part of the project. Funds will come from the personalized “Tribute Paver” program and other donations. “Because of people already saying they are willing to donate their services…like the brick work, concrete and landscaping, it’s difficult to figure what the completed project will cost” Krump said. “We’re setting our fundraising goal at $20,000… we believe that should cover everything to complete the Plaza”.
Tribute Pavers are available in three sizes; 4”x8” for a $100 donation, 8”x8” for $250 and 12”x12” for $1000. Order forms are available from Waterloo Fire Department member or can be picked up at Waterloo City Hall or at many local businesses.
For any questions regarding the project, call the Waterloo Firehouse at 618-939-8009 or Joe Krump at 618-779-2460.