A rare, historic clock at the Fayette County Courthouse is missing its hands as restoration continues, officials said.
The clock, a #19 Seth Thomas, is located in the tower of the courthouse. An engraved plate dates the clock to Nov. 26, 1884.
To keep the 132-year-old clock working in original condition, Fayette County Commissioners approved of repairs that began in 2017.
Commissioner Dan Dean said that the hands were removed and are being repaired as a part of the clock’s restoration.
“Eventually the whole faces will come off and the clock face will be restored,” said Dean. “Right now the mechanism inside the clock is being restored. There’s some work being done to make accessing the clock safer.”
Dean said that people have to climb through a trap door to access the clock to make the repairs.
“It’s not a very safe way to get up there. Marquee Construction on East Street is putting in a drop ladder to make it safer to get up there to work on the clock,” said Dean.
The cost of restoring the clock is estimated to cost $56,000.
Extra repairs for the drop ladder are being done under the existing county contract, said Dean, and will cost an approximate $3,000.
Dean said the clock repairs could take another two or three months to fully complete.
“It will be working again like clockwork sometime this summer depending on the repairs,” said Dean.
The commissioners had the clock inspected in 2017 by Phil Wright, owner at The Tower Clock Company in South Charleston, Ohio.
Wright has traveled across the country restoring tower clocks for over 30 years and said this is the only #19 Seth Thomas tower clock he’s ever seen.
Though working, Wright confirmed that the rare clock’s gear assemblies (called the motion works) were in very bad original condition. The motion works distribute the time to the four dials and operate the hands. These gear works are constructed in the largest style made by the Seth Thomas company, according to the commissioners.
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