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Does this ring a bell?

The bell in the top of the tower at St. Peter's Kierch in Middletown is a 200-year-old masterpiece that, despite its exquisite peal, has not rung religiously every Sunday in years.

It was purchased with $1,211.35 collected from 193 members of the congregation, which resolved to build a bell tower at the church as the British military marched closer to Middletown during the War of 1812, and finally installed in 1815.

Lately, it has rung rarely – only after some funerals and the scattered services that the local Lutheran congregation holds at the small, historic church, built in 1767 and still without heat and indoor plumbing.

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