Chimes ring out across Sackets Harbor, thanks to volunteers

Chimes ring out in Sackets Harbor
Published: Nov. 7, 2022 at 6:03 AM EST
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SACKETS HARBOR, New York (WWNY) - Every day the village of Sackets Harbor is treated to charming chimes, thanks to a group of bell ringers.

The United Presbyterian Church has had the 10 chimes since 1900 but for many years their clappers stayed still — until recently.

“It seems that with the new interest in the tower and restoring the tower, people in the community wanted to hear the bells and people in the community were interested in playing,” said Janet Quinn, who co-chairs the Clock Bell Restoration Project.

Affectionately called the Volunteer Ding Dongs, about a dozen chimers climb the tower to work on their tunes.

“There’s only 10 bells and so it’s a limited amount of music we can play so we choose whatever music happens to have that range of notes,” Patti Stephens said.

Like hymns. There’s nursery rhymes. And classic hits.

“We are going to play Sloop John B., which is one of our favorite tunes,” said Lizz Smith, who was playing the chimes with her husband, Tim.

The church is undergoing a cosmetic and structural restoration, but these chimers are part of a cultural restoration — keeping the bells tolling 120 years later.