Past and present
The Norwood Memorial Town Hall, Carillon Tower, and the carillon were all part of the original concept for a memorial tribute to all local citizens who served in all past wars. The building was modeled after the Cleveland Tower of the Graduate School of Princeton University and is primarily used as the site of the local government.
Walter F. Tilton, a local merchant, banker, and civic leader, donated the carillon. Francis J. Foley and James A. Halloran were instrumental in bringing the concept of a carillon to fruition. All three have bells named for them. In the original deed of gift, Walter F. Tilton gave the carillon its mission as a memorial: ‘It is my wish that this carillon may for all time serve as a memorial to and a reminder of the patriotic service and devotion of all Citizens of Norwood who have given of their lives, their health, their strength, their thought, their comfort and means that this nation might live. It is my wish that these bells may keep fresh the memory of that sacrifice and service, and by such reminder, ever sound the call of Good Citizenship.’
The monument was dedicated before an attendance of over 10,000 residents and invitees on 11 November 1928, the 10th anniversary of Armistice Day which marked the ending of the European conflict of WW I. The inaugural recital was played by Belgian carillonneur Kamiel Lefévere and broadcast over radio station WEEI to an audience that stretched across the northeastern states.
Today, the instrument is played for most holidays and local parades. In addition an annual summer concert series is organized.
Facts and figures
|Number of bells||50|
|Total weight of the bells||19,793 kg|
|Weight of the bourdon||3,556 kg|
|Pitch of bourdon||b flat, sounding c in the keyboard|
|Bell-founders||47 Gillett & Johnston 1928, 1 Gillett & Johnston 1935, 2 John Taylor and co. 1983|
|Manual playing system||mechanical baton-type keyboard|
|Automatic playing system||none|
|Carillonneur||Lee Leach, assisted by Margaret Angelini, Thomas Lee, and Christina Meyer|
|Regular recitals||on special occasions|
|Summer concerts||Mondays from 7 to 8 pm, from the last Monday in June until the middle of August|
|Accessibility of the tower||open by appointment (call the General Managers Office at Norwood Town Hall, 781-762-1240)|