The Old Capitol’s historic bell is now officially on the list of items damaged beyond repair in last month’s Iowa City fire. Experts have looked over the bronze bell, which was cast in 1864, and say the crushed bell has tolled its last. Old Capitol Museum director Ann Smothers says the 11-hundred pound bell can’t be fixed.A combination of the hot fire, the cold water and the drop when the dome collapsed caved the bell in. Smothers says the University of Iowa may -not- have to buy a new bell as many offers have come in for the donation of other historic bells from all over Iowa and other states, from old schoolhouses, courthouses and the like. Damage to Iowa’s first state capitol is expected to exceed five million dollars.
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