Old Ship Zion Church on Public Square was the first religious assembly hall in Wilkes-Barre. This bell, the first known church bell in Luzerne County, hung in the church until the building was demolished in 1857. The bell was cast in Philadelphia by George Hedderly on August 6, 1811, and probably brought to Wilkes-Barre shortly afterward. It weighs 680 pounds. During its half century of service in the City, it tolled the day of each month, and the age of the deceased person at his funeral. It also served as a curfew bell, marking the 9:00 p.m. closing time.
The First Presbyterian Church of Pittston purchased the bell when Old Ship Zion was torn down, and used it for some 30 years. Later, when the First Presbyterian church of Wilkes-Barre moved to its new building at the corner of South Franklin and Northampton, and its old building became the Osterhout Free Library, the Pittston church offered to buy the unused bell in the tower of the library building and return Old Ship Zion Bell to Wilkes-Barre. Subsequently, the bell was given to the Wyoming Historical and Geological Society in 1890. Until 1976 it was displayed in the Society's Franklin Street museum.
This location approximates the bell's original position in the Old Ship Zion Church some one hundred sixty six years ago.