Historic Columbia County bell missing, presumed stolen
Diane Valden reports for the Columbia Paper that a 145-year-old was last seen at the Malden Bridge Community Center on the evening of April 24, and was reported missing the morning of April 25. The bell was originally cast for the Old Chatham Methodist Church in 1878. A flyer being circulated in Columbia County says, “Neighbors, friends, members of the Community Center and members of the church congregations were shocked and heartbroken to see that the Old Chatham bell had been stolen!” Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Mark Dunspaugh said, “It is definitely a possibility,” that the bronze bell made of copper and tin was stolen for its precious metal components. But Dunspaugh said the perpetrators did leave some evidence behind. Lucinda Buckley, president of the Malden Bridge Community Center, said, “It was in the heart of the hamlet for 50 years and all of a sudden it’s gone.... It was a part of our lives, it’s a reminder that things don’t always stay put.” Read the full story in the Columbia Paper.