November 26, 2009

First Stage of Courthouse Clock Restoration Completed

There are some new faces at the Scotland County Courthouse. No itís not new employees or office holders. You will have to look a bit higher.

The newly restored clock faces for the courthouse clock tower were installed last week. Rory DeMesy of Mechanical Watch Supply, LLC of Minneapolis, MN, and his associates were in Memphis November 18th to install the four refurbished faces, as well as much of the mechanical interworkings of the four timepieces.

The internal components of the clock will be delivered in early spring 2010.

DeMesy commented on the project, which began in April, when the original mechanical parts of the clock system were removed for restoration. He praised the craftsmanship of the original builders, noting that many of the 100-year-old components seemly required cleaning and recalibration, as the machining of the parts was of the highest quality.

The project has been made possible by community donations as well as an award from the Historic Preservation County Courthouse Grant administered by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources parks division.

The $28,485 grant was approved late last year in the second phase of the Missouri Heritage Properties Program. The official contract was entered March 1, 2009 with DNR.

The Scotland County Community Betterment Group had been working to restore the clock as early as 2007.

The Community Betterment Group is continuing fundraising efforts to help pay for the restoration. A large portion of the restoration costs have been collected, but the group hopes to start a maintenance and upkeep fund to insure the clock remains a centerpiece for future generations. Another added cost the group will face is electrical wiring to allow the clock faces to be illuminated after dark.

For more information about making a donation contact Batina Dodge, Betty Lodewegen or Kathy Kiddoo.

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