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      Here’s a bell I found out in the middle of nowhere!

      It’s a Lutheran Church bell / pioneer memorial located well out side of the nearest community of Tofield, Alberta, Canada.

      The bell is mounted on a steel frame over top a stonework memorial.

      It’s from the first Lutheran Church built in the Bardo District in 1984, built by the first Norwegian Settlers. According to the inscription the bell was donated to the church by the estate of John S Anderson & wife. It seems to list the first pastor “Bersvend Anderson W. Luth. Minister in Alberta” according to the inscription as well.

      The church was struck by Lighting and burned to the ground in 1921.

      A second church was built on the site in 1922 and again struck by lightning and destroyed in 1965.

      A third church was then constructed in the town of Tofield in 1967 where it stands today.

      This bell is probably from the second one of the first two churches as “Peter Anderson (arrived in 1894 ) was the among the first 4 recorded settlers of the area” and John was therefore likely a son. Since it was donated by the “estate of” it would have been a bit early (only 27 years after the family’s arrival) for him to have married and both he and his wife to have died. Adding another 43 years for the second church’s history and assuming his birth was after the father’s arrival to Canada, that would put him and his wife in about their 70’s. A much more likely state of affairs for an “estate of” bell.

      You can see what appears to be lightning damage on the face and side of the bell.

      It’s amazing what you find when you take the road less traveled!


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