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Ring That Bell!


Firefighters are used to going above and beyond the call of duty.  Recently, the Sanibel Fire and Rescue District “came to the rescue” to help our neighbors at the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village.

Volunteer Coordinator Sandy Nering reported that earlier this year, the bell rope inside the schoolhouse fell — all 50 feet of jute coiled in a heap.  Up inside the belfry, a small remnant of rope was blowing in the breeze, unreachable and unattachable.  With the roofing materials being not only aged, but potentially dangerous to step upon, a ladder was ruled out as an easy fix.

“Next came the chore of finding crews who would not only attempt the repair, but even quote the work,” she said. “As you can guess, the prices were staggering, especially for our charming not-for-profit museum.”

Sandy reported that she strolled over to Station 171 on Palm Ridge Road and met with Deputy Fire Chief Kevin Barbot, who offered to walk back to the village with her and take a look at the bell.

“He studied, he sighed, he mentally measured,” she said.

“The fire department is a community member, and we can do this safely as a community service for you and training for us,” Sandy reported that Barbot stated next. “How about later this week?”

As promised, the fire crew arrived and reattached the weathered frayed pull to the bell.

“As the saying goes, if you’re lucky enough to live on Sanibel, you’re lucky enough,” she said. “Embracing that saying, today was one of those heart-warming days when I truly appreciated living and working on Sanibel.”

The Sanibel Historical Museum and Village is located at 950 Dunlop Road.  Currently closed, it will reopen for season on October 18.

“Many of us, residents and visitors alike, have missed hearing that school bell ring as a welcome to visit and share our Sanibel history,” Sandy  said. “The village bell is back!”

For more information, call 239-472-4648 or visit www.sanibelmuseum.org.



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