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History of The Perrysburg - Maumee Ding Dong Bell
[This is a reprint of the long and colorful history of the Maumee/Perrysburg Bell. The author and date of this article are unknown.]

Authenticated through research in the records of the War Department, Ohio Historical Society, and by interview of divers persons and historical characters of importance in Northwest Ohio.

This official and only copy of the true history must accompany the bell and be held in custody with the historic relic by either the schools of Maumee, Ohio or of Perrysburg, Ohio.

In the early days of the Northwest, two strong points were erected on the Maumee River to repel and discourage the enrichment of British and Indian allies from Canada. One of these fortifications was Fort Meigs and other was Fort Miami. Located on the east and west sides of the river the sites of these forts are today visible.

In 1813, a bell was erected on the parade ground of Fort Meigs. The bell was used to summon the troops from the field and to announce a state of alarm. In time the friendly Indians who had remained nearby became quite enthralled by the sound of the bell and were heard to remark as it tolled in the night, "White man make um Ding Dong." Thus the name of the bell arose from the picturesque expression of the American aborigine.

Following the War of 1812 and the Treaty of Peace in 1815, it was apparent that further defenses on the west side of the river would be needed. Accordingly it was planned to develop Fort Miamis, by this time in the hands of American military, into a major strong point. To do so would necessitate the employment of the alarum similar to the Fort Meigs. Since this was the only bell west of the Appalachian Mountains, the transfer from Fort Meigs to Fort Miami's was authorized by the War Department.

In the summer of 1816 the bell was loaded aboard a large dugout canoe and started across the river. As the loaded canoe passed the pool north of the Big Island a sudden gust of wind upset the canoe and the bell was lost --presumably forever.

In 1959, through the efforts of numerous local citizens and the employment of the most modern equipment, including skin divers, the bell was raised.


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Perrysburg High School Athletics