E. Howard Round-Top Clock Specifics

Steeple showing clock and belfry

Our tower's clock, a gift of the Lord family, was installed in 1859, then replaced - paid for by public donation - in 1883. The Lords continued to wind the clock by hand each week for many years before purchasing an automatic winder. We now wind the clock by hand like the old way by the team volunteers.

For many years the clock had been disabled due to multiple problems. A project team was formed and charged with rebuilding and repairing all the time-keeping mechanisms and bell-ringing apparatus so as to bring it back to life and regular use.

The restoring of the broken antique clock required that it be partially disassembled so it could be removed from the tower. Then, in the clockmaker's shop, the mechanism was reduced to component pieces for cleaning and polishing the multitudes of brass gears and shafts back to their original golden luster. After making precise measurements of each part to determine which needed machining or replacement, it was found that the escapement wheel teeth were worn and bent so badly that a new one would have to be custom made.

As now fully restored, the clock has the same level of reliability and accuracy as it did when first made. But in addition, the clock's room in the tower has been greatly improved to shelter the mechanism from water and dust, and to strengthen the floor structure from shaking when the clock works the bell striking apparatus.

The clock requires regular inspection, cleaning and lubrication. It's design is typically capable of running for 100 years before rebuilding might be necessary.

Video celebrating the clock's initiation on Valentines Day 2009.

...prepared & narrated by Kirk Smallman

Video covered by Portland Press on Valentines Day 2009.

...Photographed and prepared by Gregory Rec 
/ Staff Photographer at Portland Press

The Clock & Tower Committee

Project Team: Kirk Smallman, Peter Ashley, Stacy Wentworth, and Ian Durham
Clock Restorer by: David Graf of Kittery, Maine
Room Enclosure Construction: Stacy Wentworth

For many years, our clock had not been operated due to a multitude of mechanical problems resulting from two centuries of wear, weather, and age. A project team was formed and charged with rebuilding and repairing to proper working order all the apparatus and bell ringing structures in order to bring the clock back to life and regular use. The third floor of the steeple was fully enclosed to better protect the clock mechanism while the clock was being restored.

Clocktower Slideshow: