The Fayette County Commissioners approved a resolution to complete restoration work to the #19 Seth Thomas clock in the county courthouse at a recent meeting.
The resolution authorized a contract with Phil Wright, owner at The Tower Clock Company in South Charleston, for the restoration work.
“Whereas, the tower clock on the Fayette County Courthouse, an 1884 #19 Seth Thomas tower clock, is of significant historical value due to its rarity and continuing working condition, and is an integral part of the Fayette County Courthouse which itself is of substantial historical significance to the county and to the state of Ohio,” the resolution reads. “Whereas, a recent inspection and servicing of the tower clock has disclosed that many substantial repairs are necessary in order to maintain the clock and continue its operation, and owing to its age, historical nature, and intricate movement machinery, time is of the essence in making such repairs.”
Given the historical value, the commissioners accepted two proposals from Wright. They appropriated $56,000 in payment from the general fund – building and grounds capital improvement – equipment fund.
The clock, dated to Nov. 26, 1884, was recently inspected by Wright and he determined that repairs were needed to keep the 132-year-old clock working in original condition. The rare clock’s gear assemblies (called the motion works) are 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.
Fixing broken parts and hardware, and cleaning and painting the gears and hands to restore the original condition of the motion works is estimated to cost $38,000. Wright also estimated the cost of restoring the dials on the clock, which will be another $18,000.
During the meeting the commissioners also approved two equipment rentals for the Fayette County Airport. The first was with Mayer Farm Equipment for a tractor and the second was with JD Equipment, Inc. for a mower.
Additionally, the commissioners received two bids for the 2017 Fayette County Chip Seal Program. Per the recommendation from Fayette County Engineer Steve Luebbe, the commissioners accepted Miller Mason Paving Co.’s bid for $137,007.26 which includes alternate fog seal.
Stay with the Record-Herald for more updates from the Office of the Fayette County Commissioners.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy