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Carlsbad school bell returned nearly a century after prank

Posted at 6:20 PM, Apr 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-09 22:24:29-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- A 96-year-old family secret reveals a piece of the Carlsbad school district’s history.

Florence Oliver has lived in San Diego her whole life.

"I was born at SD General at that time, but of course I don't remember it!" The family settled down in Carlsbad, and for Florence, family is everything.

For the last century, her family hung on to another memory. A brass bell from the Carlsbad School which rung daily for class.

In 1922, Florence's uncles stole stole the bell to pull off a prank on her mother's wedding night.

"They hung it, in those days you had those wire springs on bed to hold mattresses, they hung it underneath, no one knew… so the bell really rang loud!"

Rather than return the bell, it stayed in the family - first handed down to Florence's oldest brother, and then the next brother, and eventually to her.

"What does it mean to me, it's just a piece of our life, and it's gone through our family, it's like it's related."

One day, Florence had a conversation with her niece.

"She said Dad used to go in the garage and she told me that bell needs to go home, that would make him very proud."

So last month, Florence made good on her promise. Nearly 100 years later the bell is back where it belongs.