Saturday, December 16, 2000

Oxford clock

Repairs to revive landmark

        OXFORD — It's time for a new life for an Oxford landmark.

        Last week, City Council approved hiring the Verdin Co. of Cincinnati to refurbish the old Oxford street clock — known as Hosack's Clock and the Uptown Clock.

        The bill will be paid jointly by the city and the Oxford Community Foundation, which has received $10,000 from an anonymous donor for the project. The city will end up paying about $14,000.

        Besides the old water tower, which was torn down several years ago, the fancy round clock and its lamp pole are a main historical fixture in uptown Oxford.

        Michael B. Dreisbach, city service director, told council: “The clock has significant historical value to the city, but it should be noted that a new clock could be purchased for $13,000-$18,000, depending on options selected.”

        He added that the historical significance — and the available money — made the staff's recommendation much easier.

        Probably the clock has received more attention in the last two years than it has in the last 50. So engrained is it in the community that Charles Kennedy, a retired city employee, volunteers to keep it running, even though its movement and other parts are badly worn.

        The clock has been around for so long that many people take it for granted. Despite seeing it so many times over the years, I didn't remember what it looked like when I first read about its proposed restoration.

        According to Bob White, who researched its history, the clock was manufactured by Brown Street Clock Co. of Monessen, Pa. Between 1884 and 1900, Frank Schweeting erected the clock in front of his jewelry store on High Street.

        In the late 1930s, Herbert Hosack bought the clock and moved it to its present site, 32 High St.

        In 1979, the city bought the clock from Herbert and Ruth Hosack for $1,000. Last year, the city incorporated the clock's image in Oxford's new logo.

        Officials say Verdin has recommended the clock's complete restoration. This will include a chemical cleaning of the clock and its post, installation of new light fixtures and wiring (with a photo cell to operate it from dusk to dawn) and rewelding of failed joints.

        In short, the clock will be restored to its original condition early next year.

        Just in time for a new century.


        MASON — The Mason Historical Society's Christmas party will be held at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the Heritage Presbyterian Church, 6546 Mason-Montgomery Road, to the right of William Mason High School.

        New officers will be appointed. Entertainment will be provided by the high school's male choir at 7:45 p.m.

        Though the meeting is for historical society members, the group welcomes prospective members.


        LEBANON — The Adult New Readers' sixth annual spelling bee, the group's major fund-raiser, will be held at 7 p.m. Feb. 26 at Otterbein Home Auditorium.

        Volunteers will soon begin calling area businesses to sponsor teams at a cost of $250 per team.

        Donations may be sent to the group at P.O. Box 29, Lebanon OH 45036.

        Adult New Readers teaches adults to read or improve their reading skills.

        Randy McNutt's column appears on Saturday. Contact him at 860-7118 or at The Enquirer, 4820 Business Center Way, Cincinnati, Ohio 45246.



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