The Clock Tower Once Again Marking The Hours

New hands on the Mahaska County Courthouse clock tower are the only visible sign of the significant update to the clock and bell. The clock is now controlled electronically and the bell rings on a programmed schedule now.

New hands on the Mahaska County Courthouse clock tower are the only visible sign of the significant update to the clock and bell. The clock is now controlled electronically and the bell rings on a programmed schedule now.

Oskaloosa, Iowa- The chime from the Mahaska County Courthouse Tower once again is marking the passing of the hours after a significant overhaul of its workings.

Mahaska County Supervisor Willie Van Weelden said it’s been on the supervisors agenda for some time to get the clock working once again. Some money was left over from last year’s budget, “we decided at that time to use that money to fix the clock right.”

“The old workings were haphazard. They’d get bits of brick in them, and the gears wouldn’t always mesh, and we had wooden hands up there that were rotting. In fact, we didn’t have hands on the east side for quite a while,” explained Van Weelden.

The supervisors contacted a company out of Cincinnati, “and they came up and did a presentation, and they put electronic works up there [tower]. On the outside, there are new hands,” explained Van Weelden.

The clock mechanism is now controlled through a box in the basement of the courthouse.

The bell at the top of the courthouse, weighing in at 2,200 pounds, was also repositioned, and a new hammer was installed. Now the sound doesn’t travel throughout the inside of the courthouse like it once did.

About the clock working and the bell chiming once again, after sitting idle for some time, Van Weelden said, “it’s been a part of Oskaloosa… when I was a kid I remember that bell ringing. I think it’s part of Oskaloosa’s tradition down here in Mahaska County.”

Next on the repair list is the limestone around the bottom of the courthouse. The supervisors had hired a company last year that ultimately never arrived to fix the flaking limestone and to repaint those areas.

Next time you are downtown at the top or bottom of the hour, take a listen for the bell or glance at the tower for the time.

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Posted by on Nov 3 2018. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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