The Minersí Bell

The Minersí Bell stands atop a stone monument in front of the little Union Church. The bell was cast in Troy, New York, in 1853 and then installed on a ship which came to California around the Horn. When the ship reached San Francisco, the entire crew caught a severe case of gold fever and deserted for the mines, leaving the ship stranded in the bay. At about this same time, the town of Vallecito was looking for a bell to sound an alarm in case of fire, and to summon folks to church and children to school. Learning of the shipís circumstances and fittings, a group of men went to San Francisco and purchased the bell. Upon their return it was mounted in a large oak tree near the center of town, where it faithfully served its purpose for many years. The old oak was felled by severe winds on February 16 of 1939, the bell crashing to earth in wild reverberations. In October of that year, the Native Sons of the Golden West mounted the old bell on the stone monument where it remains today.