Tracing the clocks timeline

Clock origin uncovered, repair to begin soon

It hangs above Main Street and has been the subject of much discussion over the years. But new questions have entered the dialog about the Veterans Memorial Clock since fixing it once and for all became the favorite topic of clock fans in Granville.


When the committee for restoring the memorial clock met for the first time in February, the group resolved a number of issues relating to how to get the living monument back into perfect working order for the first time in many years.

Resident John Freed stepped in to get the effort moving out of his desire to see this unique monument in its glory once again. Freed presented a plan to completely restore the clock and prevent future functioning issues, agreeing to donate his work to this cause.

There were questions no one seemed able to answer at that meeting: How did it get there and when, exactly?

Members of the assembled group who are lifelong Granville residents, including Freed, couldnt place an exact date on when the clock came into being.

John Hector Norton told the group he knew the clock was in place by the time he returned from naval service in the Pacific, but he could only place the clock in a period of time starting in early 1946.

Since the meeting Freed and others have been on a mission, not just to get the clock lit up, chiming and telling time again but to answer all of those questions about what led to the creation of this truly unique monument.

A number of hands have searched the archives of the Granville Sentinel for the last two years of World War II as well as early in 1942 before recently turning up the Sept. 23, 1943, and Sept. 30, 1943, articles covering the dedication of the clock.

 

The clock’s story

In the articles the fundraising effort spearheaded by Michael Minogue of the Washington County National Bank are detailed.

Minogue brought together funds totaling a little more than $2,500 to purchase the clock, all through private donations and fundraisers that included a one-day firemans carnival. The articles said the carnivals had been suspended for the duration of the war and the exception was made for a fundraiser that pushed the effort for the clock over the top with $530 raised.

As well as detailing the workings of the clock, the articles mentioned a contest undertaken to come up with a slogan for the faces on the clock.

Similar clocks around the country made by the O.B. McClintock company out of Milwaukee, Wis., have the names of the banks they commemorate in the stained glass somewhere on the body. This aspect, the phrase Lest We Forget Those Who Served the unique top and bottom and the fact the clock was originally attached to the side of the bank and not mounted on top of a pole out in front of the building contribute to a nearly one-of-a-kind clock. Freed said the tops and bottoms of most of the clocks had a simple copper ball and roof with a similar shape on the bottom.

“It was customized; most bank clocks are not like that. For some reason we ordered ours just that way,” Freed said. “It was probably was ordered that way for a reason. We just don’t know what that is yet.”

Monica Martin, then a 13-year-old Monica Minogue, was one of two winners picked for a contest run in the community to come up with a slogan for the clock.

What is often mistaken for Lest We Forget Those Who Served was actually the product of two girls from Granville and two separate phrases Lest We Forget and Those Who Served.

“We just always assumed it was one phrase because it just makes sense,” Freed said, and conversations he had with others about the clock backed up the popular misconception.

Martin was a student at the time she won $5 along with Marilyn Rote-Rosen.

Now 80 years old and living outside of Amsterdam in Fort Johnson, Martin said she can no longer recall much about the day or which half of the phrase was hers.

Freed said he spoke with Martin by phone and has asked her if she would return to Granville for any rededication festivities to be held upon completion of the work.

Another question that went along with the appearance of the clock was – why? Why in the middle of a war no one knew the endpoint of did the Granville community come together to raise funds and buy a clock that cost $2,500, the equivalent of about $31,000 in 2009 dollars?

The detailed answer to that particular mystery came in earlier issues of the Sentinel. Amateur archivists traced the clock articles backward from the dedication date and found that a Main Street fire in November 1942 brought about the need for a new clock.

The former bank building once stood where the lawn of the home of Gwen and George Schneider sits today across the street from the location of the current clock.

In that building in a roof peak at the top, embedded in the roof, was a large clock face. This clock face can be seen in old photographs of the building from the Pember Library and Museum collection.

Articles following the fire speak of how upset the community was about the loss of the clock when it appears inspiration struck Minogue for a way to bring a new clock to downtown and have a memorial to those who served and died in the current war.

At the 1943 dedication address the article states 500 Granville men were currently serving in the armed forces.

 

Project update

TD Bank manager and committee member Peter OBrien said the account to fund the repair work has amassed $2,300 already without any public appeals for funds.

Freed said when word got out about his effort to repair the clock people began to offer him money. He said he had to tell them to hold on to their donations until a mechanism existed to deal with, and account for, the money.

Donors can now contribute to the Veterans Memorial Clock fund at TD Bank or by bringing donations to the village clerk-treasurer Rick Roberts. The parts needed to repair the clock to working order will cost about $6,000, Freed said.

Since the ball started rolling on the project, Freed said, he is often asked what is delaying the start of work in light of an unusually early start to spring.

With the ownership question largely resolved, Freed said, the final obstacle standing in the way of work is insurance.

The clock is expected to be added to the village policy at the April 12 Granville Village Board meeting, but first the insurance company needs a value for the clock as it stands right now.

Freed said replacement cost is another issue entirely.

Its like with the insurance company and a car, he said. If one has a 10-year-old car the company is not going to pay to replace it with a new one. The cost of going out and building a new clock now is irrelevant for this matter; the key factor is its worth as it sits, he said.

As a part of his searches for information about the clock, Freed said, he spoke with a clock museum and various clock restorers. The museum hopes to have a similar clock to stand up in front of its facility but experts are having difficulty placing a value on the potential donation.

So it seems the more difficult task in repairing the clock has become placing an accurate value, not on the replacement cost of the clock, but on what it is worth in its current condition in April 2010.

Thats the only thing holding me up, Freed said.

That and a little garage work.

Freed said he realized only after committing to restoring the clock that it is so big he will have to modify his workshops ceiling to accommodate the clock. 

 

 

 

 

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Clock origin uncovered, repair to begin soon

 

 

It hangs above Main Street and has been the subject of much discussion over the years. But new questions have entered the dialog about the Veterans Memorial Clock since fixing it once and for all became the favorite topic of clock fans in Granville.

When the committee for restoring the memorial clock met for the first time in February, the group resolved a number of issues relating to how to get the living monument back into perfect working order for the first time in many years.

Resident John Freed stepped in to get the effort moving out of his desire to see this unique monument in its glory once again. Freed presented a plan to completely restore the clock and prevent future functioning issues, agreeing to donate his work to this cause.

There were questions no one seemed able to answer at that meeting: How did it get there and when, exactly?

Members of the assembled group who are lifelong Granville residents, including Freed, couldnt place an exact date on when the clock came into being.

John Hector Norton told the group he knew the clock was in place by the time he returned from naval service in the Pacific, but he could only place the clock in a period of time starting in early 1946.

Since the meeting Freed and others have been on a mission, not just to get the clock lit up, chiming and telling time again but to answer all of those questions about what led to the creation of this truly unique monument.

A number of hands have searched the archives of the Granville Sentinel for the last two years of World War II as well as early in 1942 before recently turning up the Sept. 23, 1943, and Sept. 30, 1943, articles covering the dedication of the clock.

 

The clock’s story

In the articles the fundraising effort spearheaded by Michael Minogue of the Washington County National Bank are detailed.

Minogue brought together funds totaling a little more than $2,500 to purchase the clock, all through private donations and fundraisers that included a one-day firemans carnival. The articles said the carnivals had been suspended for the duration of the war and the exception was made for a fundraiser that pushed the effort for the clock over the top with $530 raised.

As well as detailing the workings of the clock, the articles mentioned a contest undertaken to come up with a slogan for the faces on the clock.

Similar clocks around the country made by the O.B. McClintock company out of Milwaukee, Wis., have the names of the banks they commemorate in the stained glass somewhere on the body. This aspect, the phrase Lest We Forget Those Who Served the unique top and bottom and the fact the clock was originally attached to the side of the bank and not mounted on top of a pole out in front of the building contribute to a nearly one-of-a-kind clock. Freed said the tops and bottoms of most of the
clocks had a simple copper ball and roof with a similar shape on the bottom.

“It was customized; most bank clocks are not like that. For some reason we ordered ours just that way,” Freed said. “It was probably was ordered that way for a reason. We just don’t know what that is yet.”

Monica Martin, then a 13-year-old Monica Minogue, was one of two winners picked for a contest run in the community to come up with a slogan for the clock.

What is often mistaken for Lest We Forget Those Who Served was actually the product of two girls from Granville and two separate phrases Lest We Forget and Those Who Served.

“We just always assumed it was one phrase because it just makes sense,” Freed said, and conversations he had with others about the clock backed up the popular misconception.

Martin was a student at the time she won $5 along with Marilyn Rote-Rosen.

Now 80 years old and living outside of Amsterdam in Fort Johnson, Martin said she can no longer recall much about the day or which half of the phrase was hers.

Freed said he spoke with Martin by phone and has asked her if she would return to Granville for any rededication festivities to be held upon completion of the work.

Another question that went along with the appearance of the clock was – why? Why in the middle of a war no one knew the endpoint of did the Granville community come together to raise funds and buy a clock that cost $2,500, the equivalent of about $31,000 in 2009 dollars?

The detailed answer to that particular mystery came in earlier issues of the Sentinel. Amateur archivists traced the clock articles backward from the dedication date and found that a Main Street fire in November 1942 brought about the need for a new clock.

The former bank building once stood where the lawn of the home of Gwen and George Schneider sits today across the street from the location of the current clock.

In that building in a roof peak at the top, embedded in the roof, was a large clock face. This clock face can be seen in old photographs of the building from the Pember Library and Museum collection.

Articles following the fire speak of how upset the community was about the loss of the clock when it appears inspiration struck Minogue for a way to bring a new clock to downtown and have a memorial to those who served and died in the current war.

At the 1943 dedication address the article states 500 Granville men were currently serving in the armed forces.

 

Project update

TD Bank manager and committee member Peter OBrien said the account to fund the repair work has amassed $2,300 already without any public appeals for funds.

Freed said when word got out about his effort to repair the clock people began to offer him money. He said he had to tell them to hold on to their donations until a mechanism existed to deal with, and account for, the money.

Donors can now contribute to the Veterans Memorial Clock fund at TD Bank or by bringing donations to the village clerk-treasurer Rick Roberts. The parts needed to repair the clock to working order will cost about $6,000, Freed said.

Since the ball started rolling on the project, Freed said, he is often asked what is delaying the start of work in light of an unusually early start to spring.

With the ownership question largely resolved, Freed said, the final obstacle standing in the way of work is insurance.

The clock is expected to be added to the village policy at the April 12 Granville Village Board meeting, but first the insurance company needs a value for the clock as it stands right now.

Freed said replacement cost is another issue entirely.

Its like with the insurance company and a car, he said. If one has a 10-year-old car the company is not going to pay to replace it with a new one. The cost of going out and building a new clock now is irrelevant for this matter; the key factor is its worth as it sits, he said.

As a part of his searches for information about the clock, Freed said, he spoke with a clock museum and various clock restorers. The museum hopes to have a similar clock to stand up in front of its facility but experts are having difficulty placing
a value on the potential donation.

So it seems the more difficult task in repairing the clock has become placing an accurate value, not on the replacement cost of the clock, but on what it is worth in its current condition in April 2010.

Thats the only thing holding me up, Freed said.

That and a little garage work.

Freed said he realized only after committing to restoring the clock that it is so big he will have to modify his workshops ceiling to accommodate the clock. 

 

 

 

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