Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Silent Tower

This article about the old Clock Tower on the empty Marion High School was written in May of 1977. 

 The Silent Tower

Yes, there really is a clock in the tower on top of Marion Elementary School.

 But, no, it doesn't run, at least not right now. That is because no one had bothered to wind it for, more that 10 years past. 

According to Charles Talley, Marion Elementary principal, winding is about all it would take to make it tick again, once you reattached it's 15-foot pendulum.

But winding the clock, which was transferred to the present building from the old graded school, is no easy matter.

D. E. Woodall, who as custodian wound it in the old building and later in the new WPA constructed building, says it's placement in the new structure made it hard to do.

Three concrete weights, weighting 250-300 pounds are cranked up with a windlass. The weights appear to have been made from old nail kegs poured full of concrete.

Woodall recalls that the timepiece, made by E. Howard and Company of Boston, Mass., was an eight-day clock. Woodall says he wound it each Thursday.

Getting to the clock tower in the present building is no easy matter either. It's straight up two narrow ladder flights. And you start by climbing over a wash basin in the principal's office.

Talley says about 10 years ago, (this would have been in 1966) when the school was re-roofed and workmen were in the clock tower every day, they got the clock to running, but never well enough to synchronize the hand on the four faces.

Presently, in addition to the pendulum being disconnected, some of the arms going to the faces are loose.
Woodall recalls, too, that when in the old building there was a large bell with the clock which would ring out the hour and half hour. It was also rung he said for classes.

The bell, he said, was junked and eventually sold in Evansville when the old building was torn down.
In August of 1981, the present Crittenden County Elementary School was built, and the building, then known as Marion Junior High was sold.

This is the sad shape the old historic clock is in today, 2015.  Just about totally gone.  

The clock was originally installed in the new Marion High and Graded School in 1895.  When that building was torn down in 1938 to build the building that is there today, the old clock was saved and installed in this building.

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