St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Evanston, Illinois

Last week I visited St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Evanston, Illinois to see their nine-bell chime in action. David Plank, Associate for Music Ministries, kindly led the way.

tower
tower

Convenience at its finest. The chime stand is located on the ground floor of the church!

chime stand
chime stand
chime stand batons
chime stand batons

The interesting part is upstairs, however. No scary ladders here, so we got to see the bells up close. They are Meneely bells from Troy, NY, cast in 1901. This foundry is not to be confused with the Meneely foundry in Watervliet, NY. The two competing bell foundries were owned by members of the same family. Clinton H. Meneely, who was the youngest son of Andrew Meneely, broke off from the family business and started his own across the Hudson River in the 1870s. The two foundries competed for business and never merged. And there were still two more bell foundries in Troy!

St. Mark's bell 1

St. Mark's bells

largest bell
largest bell

The largest bell has a Latin inscription that I’m unable to translate. Can anyone help out there?

Latin inscription on largest bell
Latin inscription on largest bell

No computers up here! They use this mechanism to ring the Westminster Chimes every fifteen minutes. Note the music-box-like drum that lifts the levers attached to the bell clappers. This mechanism is very old—bells have been rung in this manner for centuries in Europe.

chiming mechanism
chiming mechanism
chiming mechanism clock
chiming mechanism clock
chiming mechanism drum
chiming mechanism drum

Thanks for the lovely visit, St. Mark’s!

3 Replies to “St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Evanston, Illinois”

  1. Coty Colson kindly found a translation of the Latin inscription in “Reminiscences, Notes and Records of St. Mark’s Parish Evanston, Illinois” written by St. Mark’s choirmaster and curate Robert Holmes around 1918.

    A. M. D. G.
    Aedi Parochiaeque Sancti
    Marci Me, Octo Cum Aliis Campanis,
    Grato Corde Dedit
    Amicus Mense Septembre,
    MDCCCCI,
    Rdo. Arturo W. Little, L.H.D.,
    Parocho
    Laude Sono Domini; Populum
    Voco Ad Ostia Caeli

    (To the greater glory of God. To the church and parish of St. Mark’s a friend, out of a grateful heart, gave me, along with eight other bells, in the month of September, 1901, during the rectorship of the Rev. Arthur W. Little, L.H.D. I resound with the praise of the Lord: I summon the people to the gates of heaven.) (26)

    Like

  2. Fascinating: I am just about to play a similar chimestand in Falkirk, Scotland, so found your comments of great interest

    Like

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