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.