“Village Clock” at NHCC dates to 1875; last restored (with donations) in 1951

Is it time for the historic “Village Clock” at Newton Highlands Congregational Church (NHCC) to be refurbished? A plaque on the side of the church near the front door provides tantalizing details about the origins of the clock located in the church tower.

E. Howard & Co. was the maker of the clock. It was given to village of Newton Highlands and installed in the original meeting house, as it was called, in 1875. When that building was replaced with the current building in 1905-06, the clock was moved to the new tower.

How does the clock know how many times to strike the bell? This video about a tower clock in a Congregational church in Williamstown, MA, explains the clock mechanism. Interestingly, the mechanism is also from E. Howard & Sons.

Explains NHCC historian Jim Harper, “Although much of the video deals with the non-electrical aspects of the Williamstown clock, all those features are still present in NHCC’s clock, except for the pendulum.” He continues, “There is a hole in floor under the NHCC clock mechanism where the pendulum used to be.”

Clock expert Greg Vasale, quoted in a recent Boston Globe article about stopped clocks, has repaired the NHCC clock over the years. It was last refurbished in 1951 and–to keep on ticking and chiming–may be due for another renovation.

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