Museum of Augusta Military Academy
Mess Hall Bell
This bell hung in the school’s Mess Hall for many years (dates unknown). It was mounted on a column next to the Battalion Commander’s table along with a microphone. It would be rung to get the attention of the corps during mess and then announcements would be delivered by way of a microphone. Use of the bell was sporadic after the death of General Charles “Big Boy” Roller in 1963.
Listen to the bell:
In the mid 1980’s after the school had closed its doors, Charles Whiting (Class of ’69) visited the campus and found it in a state of disrepair. Many items had been pilfered or destroyed. In the chaos, he discovered the old Mess Hall bell and salvaged it. Mr. Whiting recalls that during his tenure at AMA, the Mess Hall was controlled by Mess Steward, Major Peduto. A native of Staunton, Virginia, Major Peduto, was a World War 2 veteran who ran the mess hall with military precision from 1958 – 1975.
Around the year 2000, as the Museum was becoming a reality, Mr. Whiting returned the bell to the Foundation via Gary Nicholson.
ABOUT THE BELL:
A heavy brass cowbell dated 1878 and embossed with the makers name, CHIANTEL FONDEUR, and the Swiss canton where he worked, SAIGNELEGIER. This beautifully toned bell was available in at least ten sizes. The fact that they are all dated 1878 does not mean they were all cast that year.