This ivy-covered clock tower sits on a much-traveled road in a northern Dutchess County town. Visible through all that greenery is a silver plaque, which commemorates the life of a well-loved local physician.
Henry Clay Wilber was born in 1845. Twenty-two years later, he graduated from Bellevue Medical Hospital in Manhattan and, following in his father’s footsteps, opened a medical practice in his hometown. Wilbur soon became a well-known doctor in his own right. For 33 years he held the title of town health officer, and for 15 he was town coroner; he also spent time as president of the Dutchess County Medical Society. By the time he died in 1919, Wilber had devoted 52 years to the health of his community.
Upon Wilber’s demise, a committee of townspeople decided to erect a structure in his honor. Although the doctor had asked for a chapel in the Evergreen Cemetery, the group decided against it. A year later, the clock tower was erected on the same street in which his practice had been located. Why a clock tower, and not a chapel? No one seems to know for sure.
At some point in the years that followed, this stony edifice was struck by lightning. The clock stopped working: It could no longer be wound, and its cheerful chimes were broken. In 2002, members of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors succeeded in restoring the clock. Today, it once again keeps time, and chimes on the hour.
Can you identify the Valley town that is home to this commemorative clock? Send us your answer as a comment in the box below. The first reader with the correct response wins a prize. Good luck!
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