Granville Sentinel – January 7, 1943

All transcriptions by Matthew Rice of the Granville Sentinel.  Original errors were left in the copy as printed unless otherwise noted.

Granville Sentinel

Suggests Plan to Restore Old Town Clock

January 7, 1943.
Editor of the Sentinel,
The Granville Sentinel,
Granville New York.

Dear Sir:

Not long after the recent fire which destroyed most of the block on the corner of Main street, I spoke to some one of the possibility of restoring that part of the building which supported the old clock, and of doing so as a separate “Clock Tower.” Since that time I have suggested the idea – purley as a matter of conversation – to a number of people. I have been surprised and pleased to have others say essentially the same thing to me – unsolicited. As I go about the town these days, in the weeks since the fire, I am impressed with the feeling that there would be considerable popular support for some sort of restoration of the old clock and its tower. If it is not too presumptuous and entirely out of order,I would therefore like to propose a definite idea – purely as a preliminary talking basis:

1.      Restore the old clock tower, as far as it is feasible from a structural point of view so that it shall look as nearly like the original tower as possible. (It does not seem to me it need be, necessarily, as lofty as the original.)

2.      in this tower, under the same type roof as it originally has, put a clock, as nearly a replica in outward appearance as it is possible for us to procure.

3.      Let the first floor of the tower be of the “open-arch type of design, so that memorial plaques, various items of commemoration, etc., could be gathered from sundry places and assembled here, to maze for Granville a central memorial or ‘shrine’ for all time of the sons and daughters of which Granville is so proud.

4.      Build the tower as the the interior with such provision for the future that a suitable set of chimes might be later installed to strike the hours and quarters in conjunction with the operation of the clock, and which could also be played separately on suitable occasions.

5.      Locate the tower by all means, on the exact site of its former foundation –i.e., on the same foundation of that corner of the old building where George Roberts’ barber shop used to be. (That is the only site from which the clock can be seen from all parts of Main Street, particularly if it is not built as high as before.)

6.      Build it of old brick, some from the old building, some from other significant former Granville buildings (where they can be recovered); ornament it with Granville slate, and of course, roof it with Granville slate.

7.      Pave the “walks” about its base with Granville slate.

8.      Garden the remaining are about the site of the old building so as to be a beaty spot and a local center for our village of which we shall all be proud.

I sincerely believe some idea as this could well be worked out and would receive considerable popular support. I was surprised and pleased the day of the fire to have one of the younger men in town say to me, “You know, it’s too bad it had to be that building. That old clock stood for some thing around here.” It is my impression that that sentiment is rather general.

I would therefore respectfully submit to the “Village Fathers”, in this public way, the suggestions that they conduct a careful survey of the matter with a view to doing something definite towards restoring perhaps the most essential thing which game “character” to our village. Some residence abroad in other countries taught me many years ago the fact that much of the charm and interest of these other places lies in the peculiar type of their buildings and the significance certain ones have for the people of those communities. The old red block and its clock tower stood for Granville to many thousands of people – native and visitor alike. I believe we ought to keep it so.

If there is anything I can do for the furtherance of this or any similar scheme for the perpetuation of one of Granville’s most significant features, please consider me as No. 1 to enlist in the cause.

Sincerely Malcolm F. Kelley

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