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'Liberty Bell for the future' State honors history of Dennis Farm

Almost 250 years later, descendants of African American farmers received an honor. Newswatch 16's Stacy Lange takes us to the Dennis Farm.

KINGSLEY, Pa. — In celebration of America's upcoming 250th birthday in 2026, Pennsylvanians are drawing attention to some of the best stories hidden in our history.

What better way to draw attention than with a really big bell reminiscent of the Liberty Bell?

The bell will live on land in Susquehanna County that is steeped in Pennsylvanian and American history.

The land in Brooklyn Township near Kingsley has been owned by the same Black family for more than 200 years.

"A farming family, regular ordinary Americans, who, as the bell says, overcame great odds as free Black people in a nation where 90 percent of Black people were not free. And yet the Commonwealth welcomed them, and they were able to live and earn a living on this land and pass it on to future generations," said Denise Dennis of the Dennis Farm Charitable Land Trust.

Dennis knows the story well because she is one of the descendants of the land's original owner, Prince Perkins.

Dennis established the Dennis Farm Charitable Land Trust several years ago to help preserve the history here, a history that the Commonwealth is now recognizing.

"This is the first bell. We are looking to have a handful of them across the Commonwealth at historic sites or to highlight stories across the Commonwealth," said Cassandra Coleman, executive director of America250PA, a group formed to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States.

The bell is an undeniable symbol of Pennsylvania's history, and for the Dennis family, this bell symbolizes how their history is no longer silent.

"This is a Liberty Bell for the future," Dennis said.

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