Bell History

The “Swan Creek School” Bell

The "Swan Creek School" BellThe “Swan Creek School” bell was rung many times by teachers and students. When you heard the bell, you knew school was about to start. The 1-1/2 story brick school was built in 1934 after fire destroyed a similar school building in the fall of 1933. Called “Swan Creek School”, it became part of Swan Valley School District in the 1960’s.

The school, situated at 9475 Swan Creek Road, burnt to the ground in January 1968. The bell cracked during the fire and was retrieved out of the ashes by Nick Benkert. Mr. Benkert kept the bell safe at his farm until 1976. Resembling the Liberty Bell with its giant crack, the bell was used in Bicentennial Celebrations at Swan Valley School District and donated to the District. Also instrumental in donating the bell was Mr. Benkert’s sister, Ernestine Benkert Hart, and his daughter, Lorraine, a senior at Swan Valley High School in 1976.

In the spring of 2005 Swan Creek Township Board asked Swan Valley School District if the Township could reacquire the bell in celebration of our 145th anniversary. The Township meeting room was once a Swan Creek one-room school situated on Benkert Road. Early, in the 1920’s the building was moved across frozen ground to its present site at 11415 Lakefield Road. The District complied with our request, and the Township Board would like to thank Swan Valley School District for the gift of the bell.