Time to fix the clock tower is at hand

  • Friday, July 27, 2012

  • Updated Friday, July 27, 2012 5:20 am

After five years of time standing still in downtown Georgetown, the Clock Tower may soon be working again.
The Rice Museum announced Tuesday that The Verdin Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio, will be delivering the new clock components this week.
Dave Verdin, president of the company, told the Georgetown Times last week that the components were ready to be installed, but were in storage as the company awaited the OK from the Rice Museum to deliver them.
In response to queries from concerned residents, the Georgetown Times has recently been investigating why the repairs to the clock have taken so long.
The Town Clock was frozen on 4:27 for many years after being struck by lightning in May 2007.
After years of applying for grants and getting plans for repairs approved by the National Parks Service, repairs to the tower began in December 2010.
In February 2011, the bell in the tower was removed and antique bricks and new mortar were added. It was also around that time that the clock hands were removed.
Rice Museum officials expect the installation of the new clock works to take place within the next few weeks.

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The Rice Museum’s press release announcing the delivery of the clock components also included a history lesson on another time the clock needed to be fixed.
An article in the July 1, 1857 Pee Dee Times reported: “The steeple of our Market House is nearly completed, forming a lofty spire, in which a town clock is to be placed... The Bell weighing upwards of fourteen hundred pounds, was elevated to its proper position by the polite services of Capt. Robbins of the schooner Pathfinder, and Captain Roberts of the Brig. Globe, with part of their crew, now in port.”
Once the box was opened, it was discovered that the clock works were broken. The Boston Clock Factory then sent a Mr. Howard to Georgetown.
On Sept. 16, 1857, The Pee Dee Times reported: “Mr. Howard from the Boston Clock Factory, has for the past week been employed in fixing and adjusting the clock in the Steeple of the Town Hall, which was erected for the purpose; and we are glad to say that it is not only an ornament to the portion of the town in which it is situated, but that it is also a very useful appendage. And now that we have it and enjoyed its use for a short time, the wonder is that we have never had it before and how we have done without it so long. Much praise is due to the present indefatigable Town Council for originating the idea, and for so promptly executing it.”

By Chris Sokoloski
csokoloski@gtowntimes.com

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