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Clock to Adorn Town Square

Teresa Grable

(1/24) Almost 88 years after the old fountain that once graced the center of the Town Square was removed, Emmitsburg will soon have another icon that will herald a return to elegance in the Square.

Thanks to a generous donation from Mount St. Mary’s University, a four-faced clock will soon adorn one of the corners in the Town Square. Manufactured by the East Bay Clock Company of Gulf Breeze, Florida, the one thousand-pound clock is made of cast aluminum alloy and sports a historic look with gold-colored trim. Standing almost 16-feet tall, it will easily be seen by both pedestrians and drivers.

Dr. Thomas H. Powell, President of Mount St. Mary’s University, said he had been looking for a way to commemorate the long and wonderful relationship between the town and the university. The opportunity was seized upon when Emmitsburg began to explore the redesign of the Town Square in early 2013.

The clock has the town seal on its face and a plaque that reads: "This clock was donated to the Town of Emmitsburg by Mount St. Mary’s University – Faith • Discovery • Leadership • Community – 2014."

The clock is completely computerized and will reset itself after a power outage and automatically adjust for Daylight Savings time changes.

Mayor Don Briggs said, "The clock is exquisite. It is a wonderful gift from Mount St. Mary’s University for which we are very thankful. As an element of the revitalization of the Square, it will serve the community well for many generations as well as serve as a further reminder of our bond with the university."

The clock is a forerunner of what residents of Emmitsburg can expect as the Town Square is reshaped over the coming years. Plans to revitalize the Emmitsburg Town Square have been well received overall by area businesses and town residents.

The town’s Board of Commissioners voted unanimously almost two years ago to approve a contract that could lead to improving the appearance of the Town Square. Mayor Briggs stated that the implementation of the proposed redesign will cost between $800,000 and $1 million, and that additional money going toward façade and property improvements means that the Town Square and other private properties in proximity could total up to a $1.4 million facelift to the general area.

The current Square redesign includes "generously sized, curved corners," which will feature planter benches and other attributes. The location of the original fountain in the Town Square will be demarcated with a circle in the middle of the intersection.

It still has not been determined when the clock will be put up in the Square or the actual corner on which the clock will stand. In the meantime, the clock is wrapped up safely and is in storage.

In what may be called an historical irony, just as the manufacturer of the old fountain in the Square also made the fountain that still stands on 7th street in Frederick (which led to the misconception that the old fountain had been moved to Frederick), the manufacturer of the new Town Square clock also made the clock that stands at Carroll Creek in Frederick. One can only wonder if someday the residents of Frederick will claim their clock was moved to Emmitsburg!

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