Bell Weighing 7,000 Pounds On Its Way To Arkansas From Maine

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PARIS (KFSM) -- The man who claims to own the largest bell in Arkansas is about to get an even bigger one.

The 7,000 pound bell is on its way to Paris after coming down from a church tower in Maine and should arrive either Saturday or Sunday. When it gets to Paris, the bell will join the rest of Robert Cowie's collection, which he said is one of the most extensive in the nation.

“Bells are pretty neat,” Cowie said. “You can put them in your yard, you can ring them. You can drive your neighbors nuts. You can just have a blast!”

Most of Cowie's bells come from churches and others are from trains.

"I love bells 60% for the history, 25% for the sound and probably the rest for the way they are built,” he said.

Cowie said his love for bells began when he was a teenager. He said he rang the bells at St. Joseph’s Church in Paris and fixed and greased the ropes when they needed it. Then about five years ago he began collecting them and one day plans to put his collection in a museum.

“After I got to the point in my life where I could buy a few, I decided I was going to build a chapel on my property," Cowie said. "And I built the chapel and put some bells in it. It started with one bell, then two, then it got to seven."

The bell that is coming from Maine will be his biggest yet and Cowie plans to place it next to the bell in his front yard, which will then become his second-biggest bell. He said the oldest bell he owns is from 1679.

"I like the big bells,” he said.

Cowie has nearly 200 bells in his collection and said he not planning to stop adding to it anytime soon.

“You cannot ever have the end of something, because you live for the future,” he said.