A long time ago Needham heard many bells; school bells, fire bells, fire engine bells and train bells. Now only the church bells ring. The oldest bell hangs in the belfry of the First Parish Church. Made by Paul Revere, it rang in 1811 to celebrate the town’s one hundredth birthday. Fire bells no longer ring. The last fire bell now sits on the lawn of the Needham Historical Society. This shows one of the ways Needham has changed.

In 1750, at age 15, Paul Revere was a bell ringer in the Old North Church, Boston.

Needham's Paul Revere Bell

The First Parish Church today

Paul Revere bell in Westwood's First Parish Church

Paul Revere bell in Norwell's Second Parish Church
fire bell train bells



Long before TV, people used bells to communicate news. The bells of Boston and Needham signaled important information to its residents. They told them when there was an emergency, the time of day, and when to come to church.

Kathleen Martell, Instructional Technology Specialist
Needham Public Schools, Needham MA
March 2006