Soaring five stories above the ground, this red brick pendulum clock tower draws the eye of any passerby. Overlooking the depot, railroad, and main street of this northern Valley town, the structure dates back to 1872 and contains the only pendulum clock of its kind that remains in its original, working condition.
Aside from its central location and rare form, the building boasts a long and varied history. Originally a firehouse, the tower and clock were built as an extension and used to signal the community in the event of a dangerous blaze. Ironically, flames destroyed a large portion of the village — including the firehouse — in 1869, prompting the reconstruction of the building. A few years later, the village bought the privately owned structure for $5,000; subsequently, the building simultaneously housed the town hall, police court, and fire station. The facility was last sold in August 2010, this time for $230,000 — note the sizable increase from its original sale price — and now houses Clocktower Toys and Gifts. The village continues to maintain its centerpiece, and has even hired a designated staffer to ensure that the clock keeps ticking.
In case you’re still stumped, here’s a little more of the area’s history. First known as Groat’s Corners, the village was incorporated in 1847 and did not receive its present name until 1869. Between the 1850s and 1950s, the town thrived as an instrumental railroad hub. Five railway lines — including the Boston and Albany as well as the New York Central — converged at the station, where more than 100 trains arrived and departed daily. Today, the village is home to several buildings that date back to the early 19th century; it hosts a variety of attractions, including a recently renovated, still-operating 1926 theater; and a number of shops, restaurants, and galleries.
Can you identify the historic village home of this celebrated clock tower? Submit your answer as a comment in the box below. The first reader with the correct response wins a prize. Good luck!
» Give up? Find the contest answer in our September 2012 issue