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Courthouse Bell Project seeks community support

From the Swan Quarter Volunteer Fire Department

For the past year, the Swan Quarter Volunteer Fire Department’s has been working on a community project to raise funds to build a permanent display for the old cast iron bell that hung outside the courthouse almost one hundred years ago. The plan includes a small landscaped park area, with benches, to be located between the old 1854 courthouse and the newer Hyde County Government Center in the county seat of Swan Quarter.

Plans for the Hyde County Courthouse Bell project were designed and drawn by Hyde County native Ben Cahoon, of Cahoon & Kasten Architects, Nags Head and the Hyde County Board of Commissioners approved the project in April 2018. Since then, a letter-writing campaign and other generous donations have provided over $7,000 of the estimated $16,500 costs. Two raffles and a hotdog bag lunch have netted additional funding. Sales of colorful Hyde Bell T-shirts and a new Hyde County vanity license plate are on-going.

A limited number of a beautiful pen and ink drawing of the Mattamuskeet Lodge by Nova Scotia artist David Town are also available with all proceeds going to the bell project. The 11” x 14” drawing is matted in dark blue and ready for framing.

“The response to our pleas for help have been amazing,” SQVFD Fire Chief Jeffrey Stotesberry said. “We are so close to having all of the necessary funding in place to complete this project. We are hoping that if we can just get the remaining funds on hand, we can start construction within the next couple of months.”

Stotesberry indicated that once completed, the park will be dedicated in honor of Hyde County’s commercial fishermen. The roofed and brick bell display will be the centerpiece of the park and dedicated to the citizens of Hyde County. A public dedication service will be announced at a future date.

As the project’s fundraising heads to the finish line, the Hyde County community is offered another opportunity to be a integral part of this project. Each of the four planned park benches are available to be memorialized in honor of or in memory of a person of a sponsor’s choosing. A bronze plaque will be permanently displayed on the bench as a tribute to someone special in their lives.

Anyone Interested in purchasing a tee, license plate, Mattamuskeet Lodge print or sponsoring a park bench should contact Fire Chief Jeffrey Stotesberry at 252-542-0901 or firechiefjeff@embarqmail.com .