History of the Clock Towers in Prescott
1887 With Prescott growing rapidly the first modern brick school is built on Elm Street. A local teacher, Roxanne Bailey donates the money to purchase the first tower clock in Prescott; it is installed in a tower on the new school.
1924 A new addition is added to the 1887 school.
1935 On December 8th the Prescott School burns to the ground. Despite the combined efforts of the Prescott and Hastings fire departments, the fire is too intense to save the 1887 school – they put their efforts into saving the new addition. At 3:00 am the bell rang for the last time. At 3:20 am the clock and bell fell into the ruins of the school. After keeping time faithfully for 48 years the first tower clock in Prescott is destroyed.
1937 The clock and bell were sorely missed by the people of Prescott. Although mechanical clocks were no longer in fashion the community wanted the new clock to be identical to the clock destroyed in the fire. $2,100 was raised to purchase a new clock and bell. The 1924 addition is repaired and a new addition is constructed on the north side of the school with a clock tower erected in the middle.
The new clock worked well until the 1960’s. The plywood faces started deteriorating and the clock no longer worked consistently.
1977 The Prescott Bicentennial Committee finances repairs of the clock and tower, repairs are mostly temporary. By the 1980’s the clock has stopped functioning completely. The bell and hammer were removed due to weight restrictions on the school roof.
2002 The steel tower and clockworks are removed due to water leakage at the base of the tower. The clock and bell are given to the Prescott Historical Society. Restoration is started on the Seth Thomas clock in the fall.
2004 The Seth Thomas clock is fully restored and functional. The Prescott Historical Society starts fundraising to construct the new tower
Our Seth Thomas Tower Clock
The Prescott clock was built by the Seth Thomas Company of Connecticut 1937. This was the second Seth Thomas tower clock installed in Prescott - the first clock was destroyed in the 1937 fire. The last mechanical clock of this style build by Seth Thomas was number 3232, ours is number 3176. They only produced 44 more clocks of this style before the Second World War halted production and ended the era of large mechanical tower clocks.
Prescott Area Chamber of Commerce, 237 Broad St., Prescott, WI 54021
715.262.3284 . firstname.lastname@example.org
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