The plantation bell

The Plantation bell at Residence Plantation

Plantation bells were used as a form of communication: to call workers to and from work, or for alarms in case of emergencies, notification of deaths, births and marriages.

The bell rang five times a day for ten minutes: one hour before sunrise to wake the workers up and then again at sunrise to begin the work day; at 12 noon and 1pm for an hour lunch break, and then an hour before dark to end the work day. On the plantation there was a six day work week, with Sunday being the only day off.

A constant rapid ringing was an alarm of a fire or some other serious danger. A slow consistent ringing was for a death of someone on the plantation. Finally, a steady medium ringing was usually a sign of a marriage, births or some other joyous occasion.