The Capitol Bell Tower in Richmond sits nestled in the lower left corner of the Capitol Grounds in downtown Richmond. It has a rich history – it has been in the same location since 1824, and it has been used as a guard house and its bell tolled to warn of approaching Union forces toward the end of the Civil War. Currently it’s home to a very nice tourism office. Check out the Virginia State Capitol History Project for more info.
Probably most frequently in an old city with a lot of wooden dwellings, the tower served to guard against fires — the fire bell was tolled to call out the volunteers to douse any flames.
So last week, history served up a slice of irony. According to Richmond’s WTVR, the Fire Department got a call to head downtown.
Their destination? The old fire bell tower was on fire.
More exactly, some woodwork in place during restoration of the tower was smoldering. Firefighters wet everything down, and damage was minimal.
Image: A vintage post card available on Wikimedia, including strolling women with parasols. Current framing and restoration work not pictured…