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Angier, North Carolina: Backyard School Bell Collection

Mounted on a 30-foot-tall outdoor tower: dozens of old bells, with ropes for ringing. There is also a small museum which can be seen by appointment.

3317 Old Fairground Rd, Angier, NC
I-40 exit 319. Drive west on Hwy 210 for two miles. Turn left (south) onto Rt 1309/Old Fairground Rd. In a short while you will see a small brick house on the left with a little duck pond out back. The bells and scaffolding dwarf the house....
By appt. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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Visitor Tips and News About Backyard School Bell Collection

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School Bell Collection

I called the first number on the sign next to the bells, and woman who answered said that she didn't have much to do with the collection any more. She said it was okay to go and look, but the museum is hardly ever open.

[Crystal, 11/30/2021]

The Coats Museum -- Robert Coats collected the bells -- is run by a Board of Trustees. Visitors should call before visiting to arrange for someone to let them into the building.


Backyard School Bell Collection

There was no one there when we were there, but very interesting all the same. It's bigger than I anticipated. I wish there would have been more information as to where the bells came from, but you can use your imagination.

[Shannon Hiser, 08/27/2016]
Backyard School Bell Collection

The Backyard School Bell collection is a 30-foot bell tower with about 30 bells erected on the bell tower (school bells, church bells, and firemen bells). It was built by Mr. Robert (Tink) Coats, a retired educator in 1970. Mr. Coats is deceased.

On the Coats Estate property is also the Coats Museum, which houses about 30 bells, as well as other antique rural farm equipment; and also the Coats Homestead.

The "Ringing of the Bells Celebration" is held each year on July 4th, at 12:00 noon. It is open at other times by appointments only. It is maintained by a 5-member Board of Trustees.

[Alice Honeycutt, 05/22/2011]


Backyard School Bell Collection

We also drove out to McGees Crossroad to see the bell display. The directions are close enough that we did find the bells, but they are on Old Fairground Road, not Massengill Mill Road, which we did not see at all. No one at the nearby store knew anything about the mill. The bells were collected by the husband of a school teacher many years ago. We were told that the bells are school bells, and that there are more that were never mounted.

[Les Parker, 08/13/2000]
Backyard Church Bell collection

"The Bell Man" (made up title because I don't know who owns it) - some man/woman has erected this giant platform and scaffold in their own backyard and has hung a collection of HUGE church bells from it. The scaffold stands between 30 and 40 feet high (just guessing - it's more than twice the height of the first floor). There are 15-20 bells of various sizes - most 3 feet tall and larger. All appear operational, and there are ropes attached to each.

[Walker Blanchard, 11/17/1998]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Daniel Boone: Pioneer GiantDaniel Boone: Pioneer Giant, Four Oaks, NC - 6 mi.
Marvin Johnson's Gourd CollectionMarvin Johnson's Gourd Collection, Angier, NC - 8 mi.
White Deer, Famous AlbinoWhite Deer, Famous Albino, Garner, NC - 12 mi.
In the region:
Kenly 95 Truck Stop Lighthouse, Kenly, NC - 26 mi.

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