The Bell Tower lays 33 meters above the church crossing and was erected on Easter of 1896. There are three levels in the bell tower. The first level has the keys to ring the bells. The second level hosts the 10 bells themselves, as they chime when struck by the key on the lower level. All the bells were gifts of parishioners to the church. The third level has the remains of what used to be a large mechanical clock. As viewed in the historical pictures of St. John's, the steeple once hosted a large mechanical clock before it was renovated in the 1950's.
In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy damaged the steeple and was subsequently repaired in 2014 in time for St. John’s 170th anniversary. It was blessed by Bishop Andrew Dietsche as he and Father Roy Cole, then the current rector climbed up the stairs and blessed the steeple while over 200 people were watching them from the rectory lawn.
On a clear day, it boasts an extraordinary view of New Jersey, lower Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Bells are chimed on feast Sundays as well as other special occasions and tolled when there are funerals in the church. The chimes could be heard all around Rosebank and Fort Wadsworth.
Photos by Brian Kutner