Effort underway to put landmark Minerva clock in operation

·3 min read
The faces of this historic clock tower outside Minerva Area Historical Society don't match, and the group is working to raise funds for a restoration. It is seen here Thursday, June 9, 2022, in the village.
The faces of this historic clock tower outside Minerva Area Historical Society don't match, and the group is working to raise funds for a restoration. It is seen here Thursday, June 9, 2022, in the village.

MINERVA – The four faces of a clock mounted high above North Market and High streets don't agree on the time. The four sets of hands are stuck.

Minerva Area Historical Society is raising funds to bring life back to the downtown landmark mounted on the society's Haas Museum at 128 N. Market St. The plan is to replace the inner workings of the clock.

"We are figuring right around $10,000," said James "Chip" Syme, president of the Minerva Area Historical Society. "We are going to go electronic this time. One of the problems is, and I could be wrong, is you have four different faces up there; trying to make them all work at the same time."

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The selected contractor is Lumichron Commercial Clocks of Grand Rapids, Mich. The clock's manufacturer was O.B. McClintock of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Lumichron experienced at repairing landmark clocks

"They contacted us quite a while ago about that project," said Karen Macartney, co-owner of Lumichron Commercial Clocks. "We have done a number of clocks like that. These clocks were built like a hundred years ago. A lot of these are on what used to be banks."

The clock is made of copper and mounted to the exterior of the museum building with a steel bracket.

"We will be on-site," Macartney said. "We will do all the work. It will be one day. That clock is not going to have its original equipment. Nothing is being made (in the present) that was manufactured 100 years ago. It is going to have bells like digital chimes. It will have new clock motors. It has four faces. Each face will have a motor. The hands can't be original. We will be remaking the hands in their original style."

Also, there are plans to install lights behind the four faces.

Clock mounted to former bank structure

Minerva Area Historical Society moved into the former Minerva Central Trust building in 1980. Members of the Haas family donated funds to help purchase the building. The building had been known as Minerva Savings & Trust.

"I remember that clock when it was working," village Councilman Mason Boldizar said. "I think the inner parts are a little bit outdated. It just adds that historic piece to our downtown. It needs to work, though."

Paul White, an area business operator and clock collector, worked on the structure about 20 years ago. White, who owns the Medicine Center Pharmacy outlets, got it running temporarily.

"When I had that clock running it was fabulous," White said. "I believe the controller on that clock was struck by lightning. It needs a new computer board installed in it. There is a board in it that is burned out."

If Minerva Area Historical Society can get the project underway, it will join another downtown landmark that is undergoing an upgrade. Minerva Area Chamber of Commerce is in the midst of upgrading its Roxy Theatre, which is just down the street at 120 N. Market St.

The restoration effort is has an uncertain timetable.

"The last thing I heard there were some parts that were in customs," Syme said.

The executive director of the Minerva Area Historical Society indicated his organization is not going to abandon the clock.

"I have lived in Minerva 71 years," Syme said. "It is not going to crash under my watch."

Reach Malcolm at 330-596-0326 or malcolm.hall@cantonrep.com. On Twitter: mhallREP.

Chip Syme, president of Minerva Area Historical Society, stands Thursday, June 9, 2022, near the historic clock tower that his organization is seeking to restore.
Chip Syme, president of Minerva Area Historical Society, stands Thursday, June 9, 2022, near the historic clock tower that his organization is seeking to restore.

This article originally appeared on The Repository: Historic clock in downtown Minerva to undergo restoration