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Downtown Windber Clock

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THE WINDBER TOWN CLOCK  HISTORY


The Windber Town Clock was built by the New England Clock Company, and Mr. Harry Dietz purchased the clock in 1908 when he opened his jewelry store at 1430 Graham Avenue, Windber, Pa.  The master clock was located inside the jewelry store.

The clock located outside is the slave clock.  The double-faced slave clock is operated by the shaft you see rising up from the inside master clock to a set of transfer gears.  Another shaft from the transfer gears runs horizontally out through the building to the slave clock; both faces of the slave clock are operated by only one set of works.  The 100 pound weight descended through a hole in the floor of the jewelry store to the basement.  The clock is manually wound with a hand crank that is inserted into a shaft located just above the 6 on the face of the master clock.  The pendulum weighs 75 pounds, and has a manual adjustment to provide equal swing distance.  If the pendulum does not swing equally off center, the clock will not run.  The 100 pound weight was modified to operate at this location, and will operate the clock for 5 days between windings.  There are other adjustments in the master clocvk works that allow both clock faces to be set to the same time, or to set each clock face separately.

In 1937 Mr. Anthony Yanelli purchased the jewelry store from Mr. Harry Dietz.  Notice, Yanelli Jewelers appears on the exterior clock, but Deitz Bros. remains on the master clock.  Mr. Yanelli owned and operated the jewelry store until May of 1959 when Mr. Glenn A. Gaye assumed full ownership of the jewelry store.

Mr. Gaye sold the jewelry store in the fall of 1971 and the store closed in January , 1972.  The clock remained until the building was purchased by a local resident.

The clock then was purchased and removed from its original location in 1972 by Mr. Erickson of Cherry Lane, Richland Twp., Johnstown, Pa.  The clock was mounted on a pole at the Cherry Lane location, but was never operational.  The original building that housed the jewelry store still remains.

Mr. Ron Corl of Windber purchased the clock at Mr. Erickson's auction sale and brought it back to Windber in 1998.  The restoration group originally wanted to erect the clock in Miners' Park, but the Borough would not provide an easement, so on December 18, 1998 the group received an easement to erect the clock on GTE property at 17th & Graham Ave., Windber, Pa.

The Aid Association For Lutherans Branch 7574 provided $4,500.00 to start the restoration project.  The footers were poured in August 10, 1999.  By the year 2000, the clock was back in operation at its current location.  Dedication of the clock took place on February 1, 2000.  The clock repairs were performed by George Penrod and Robert Geisel.  The clock is owned by the Eureka Coal Heritage Foundation of Windber, a 501 (c)3 Non-Profit Organization.

In 2003, the clock became inoperable, and by the year 2006 the weather and elements began to permeate through the wood that trimmed the exterior clock face.  Near the end of 2007, through the initiative of Mr. Jack O'Roark, and expertise from Mr. George Penrod, an original restorer, and the gracious generosity of Mr. Bill Bahorik, the exterior clock was removed, the clock face shafts were shortened and the wooden trim was replaced with stainless steel trim.  In July, 2008, new shafts and pulleys were installed.  The master and slave clock works were cleaned and oiled, and the exterior clock was then reinstalled.  The Town Clock once again remains an icon of Windber's Storied History.