Special Collections and Archives blog

Victory Bell?


Inquiring minds want to know: Where is the Victory Bell?

In the image above is a small piece of NAU’s (or more properly ASC’s) campus history- the “Victory Bell”.  As the cropped piece of NAU Archive image NAU.ARC.1956-9-8  shows, here is a grainy look at the victory bell at the 50 yard line of Spillsbury Field in 1956 while the band is on the field. In searching the Pine/Lumberjack online it appears that the bell begins to get mentioned in the 1950s, and drops from mention in 1965 or so. The bell was rung at games when the Lumberjacks scored a touchdown, and generally attended to by the Chain Gang- quite a task as it appears the bell was attached to a healthy diameter log. As the keepers of campus traditions, that makes sense.

The rest of the bell information we can put forward is pure supposition. Given that we only have two images taken at a fair distance, there is little apparent detail. The bell pictured does look like a steam locomotive bell- and that makes sense inasmuch as railroads nationwide were moving to diesel-electric locomotives and scrapping their steam engines. Such bells were probably plentiful and in need of homes.

In chatting with folks locally and seeing if anyone remembered the bell, we heard few plausible and not so plausible ideas. We have heard that bell was stolen by an opposing team (as once happened to the copper ax); that it was decommissioned to Flagstaff High School and lives in a trophy case (doesn’t seem so); or that it got moved into the Dome and is lost in some little-known closet like the Ark of the Covenant at the end of Indiana Jones.

If you know anything about the Victory Bell- or have a story to share, we’d love to hear them- contact us at special.collections@nau.edu

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