The corroded steel bell in the steeple of St. Nicholas Greek Church rarely rings.
But on Jan. 1, it will be one of some two dozen bells the city plans to ring to mark the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.
"President Lincoln decided then that the slaves should be set free, to us that really means a great deal," said Jacqueline Owens, the president of the Norwich chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Between now and then, City Historian Dale Plummer and experts from a bell company in Ohio will be climbing many dark and steep stairwells, checking on the bells and the infrastructure to determine what it will take to make them ring true again.
Many of the bells that sit atop churches and city hall or ancient schools are more than a century old.
There will be a public meeting on the bells project in City Hall at 5 p.m. on Wednesday
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