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Talbot’s Clocks and Bells by James Dawson

Talbot County has a number of interesting clocks and bells in public places. The most notable is, of course, the clock in the cupola of the Talbot County Courthouse. The Courthouse dates to 1794, but surprisingly, it did not get a clock until 1898. Some claim that the Courthouse had a clock by 1835 that was located in the center of the front projecting pavilion and separate from the bell, which was in the cupola on the roof. The source for this story is said to be an 1835 lithograph of Easton showing the Courthouse. However, this writer knows of no such 1835 lithograph. The earliest image he has seen of the Courthouse is on the 1858 Dilworth map of Talbot County, but an enlargement of it doesn’t show a clock in the front center projecting pavilion or anywhere, for that matter. This is because the only town clock Easton had then was a sundial. As noted in the March 18, 1899 Denton Journal, “The new town clock… is the first public timekeeper Easton has had since the Spencer sun-dial, which was for many years on the south wall of the old brick hotel and removed by the improvements made in the build-

ing in 1870.” Prof. Mathew Spencer of the Easton Academy had made it about 1850. Citizens had been trying to get a town clock for Easton for years. Finally, the Town Clock Committee was created in 1894 to raise money to purchase a clock and a larger bell for the Courthouse. The Courthouse was remodeled in 1898, and improvements to the cupola allowed for maximum sound projection, so it was thought the bell would be heard at least two miles away.

The 1898 bell. 43

February 2016 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times February 2016

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