Jefferson Bell Tower Marks 50th Anniversary this Weekend

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JEFFERSON, Iowa -- The Mahanay Memorial Bell Tower in Jefferson will mark its 50th Anniversary this weekend at the annual Jefferson Bell Tower Festival.

In 1966, the tower was constructed with a $350,000 gift left after Floyd and Dora Mahanay of Jefferson passed away.

The tower welcomes visitors 14 stories up with a view 20-25 miles across the flat Greene County farmland.

“The elevator will take you up 128 feet and you can see a beautiful view,” said Pat Richards, who is in charge of the tour guides at the Mahanay Bell Tower. “We also have rooftop art, ones completed and another is planned.”

The rooftop art consists of a pattern drawn over a white background on top of one building. It can only be seen when you are overhead in the tower. Another building will soon have art on its roof as well.

“We have 14 bells on top and 15 more in our courthouse ready to install,” said Richards. “We’re doing fundraising to the point of having 47 bells and four octaves on top."

The bells ring marking every hour and half hour, and a concert is played at certain times during the day.

Information on the Jefferson Bell Tower Festival can be found here.