Friday, June 17, 2011

storm clouds dipping down

storm clouds dipping down
to touch the tip of the clock tower,
four faces glowing

The storm clouds look like they are trying once more to topple the steeple on top of clock tower on the Jefferson County Courthouse, which looks small and vulnerable beneath the vault of dark clouds. The courthouse, constructed between 1890 and 1893 of Cleveland gray sandstone and red brick at a cost of $74,000, sits a block north of the town square in Fairfield, Iowa. In 1948 a violent wind storm damaged the 36-foot steeple on the clock tower and county supervisors voted to remove the steeple to save the expense required for repairs. Lifelong Fairfield resident Lee Gobble successfully renewed an effort to restore the steeple, which has now been a part of the clock tower since 2004. The clock in the tower, which chimed the hours and displayed the time on four faces, stopped working for many years. Fairfield resident and retired engineer John Connet restored the timing and chiming mechanisms in 1997 and he continues to keep the clock hands and four faces synchronized.

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