Historic Clock Ticking and Tocking on Time Again

Downtown Berkley is now on the same schedule as the rest of the Eastern Standard Time Zone.

A clock that has kept Berkley on time since 1999 has been repaired. Photo: City of Berkley
A clock that has kept Berkley on time since 1999 has been repaired. Photo: City of Berkley

A clock that has been ticking away the minutes since 1999, when it was placed outside Berkley’s historic fire hall on Coolidge Highway as a gift from a prominent local family, is on time again, the Observer & Eccentric reports.

The clock, donated by former Berkley Mayor Maybelle Fraser in honor of her late husband, Donald, and his family, recently jumped ahead 10 minutes. Fraser noticed it and tracked down Don Swem, the Verdin Bells & Clocks employee who installed the clock, to fix it.

She reached him just in the nick of time, too, because Swem plans to retire in January.

He said he’s not sure what caused the problems.

“I’m just going to attribute it to a ghost in the attic,” he told the newspaper.

The clock was replaced in 1999 when the original clock, which never kept accurate time, disappeared and was never found while a city historic committee was working to get it fixed.

Fraser thought the city ought to have a clock so people could check the time as they drove by. “Even though it wasn’t on time before, it was something people always looked up at,” she said.

Berkley Mayor Phil O’Dwyer said the clock is an important city landmark that celebrates the legacies of the Fraser family.

“It is one more example, among many, of a resident in this community contributing to the quality of life for us all,” he said.


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