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Harbour Grace Fire Bell

Harbour Grace, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2006/01/10

Exterior photo of the Harbour Grace Fire Bell, located on Water Street, Harbour Grace.  Photo taken November 1, 2005.; HFNL/ Deborah O'Rielly 2005
Harbour Grace Fire Bell
Exterior photo of the memorial plaque situated directly below the Harbour Grace Fire Bell, Water Street, NL.  ; HFNL/ Deborah O'Rielly 2005
Memorial plaque for the Harbour Grace Fire Bell.
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/01/13

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Harbour Grace Fire Bell is a nineteenth century freestanding bell tower and bell situated on Water Street in Harbour Grace. The designation is confined to the footprint of the bell tower.

Heritage Value

The Harbour Grace Fire Bell has been designated a municipal heritage site because it holds historic and cultural values.

The Harbour Grace Fire Bell is historically valuable because it is a nineteenth century style alarm bell used in the town for many years. This bell is the last of its kind. Harbour Grace once had three of the bells, located strategically in the town. They were meant to be used in the early signalling of fires in the town. The Town of Harbour Grace boasts the oldest volunteer fire brigade in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, having been established in 1830 and operating in the present day. Early fire warnings were simply word of mouth but the town soon implemented the use of these bells. However, after a devastating fire in 1944 the bells ceased to be used and an electric siren was installed.

The Harbour Grace Fire Bell is culturally valuable because it represents an aspect of the long-running Volunteer Fire Brigade, for which the community is very proud. The Bell, the last of its kind, is a standing reminder of firefighter bravery and heroism. Beneath this bell is a plaque which is a memorial to all firefighters and it states: The Last Alarm, Dedicated to the memory of all deceased firefighters of the Harbour Grace Volunteer Fire Brigade; Also in honour of the present firefighters who protect our town.

Source: Passed by a motion of Harbour Grace Town Council, held January 10, 2006

Character-Defining Elements

All those elements that embody the nineteenth century qualities of the fire bell, including:
-the bell located within a wooden, freestanding tower;
-the size, shape, height and massing of the wooden tower;
-the memorial plaque located beneath the tower; and
-the red color of the tower making it highly visible and associated with the usual red color of fire trucks.



Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Authority

NL Municipality

Recognition Statute

Municipalities Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Building, Structure or Land

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1995/01/01 to 1995/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Community Organizations

Function - Category and Type


Fire Station
Commemorative Monument


Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, 1 Springdale Street, P.O. Box 5171, St. John's, NL, A1C 5V5

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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