By Sarah Richardson
Downtown Alderson will be gaining a new fixture this year, if everything goes as smoothly as it has over the first stages of the project. A new town clock is slated to be installed where C.D. Hanger’s Jewelry Store once stood as a way to pay homage to the clock that used to be affixed to the building.
The store was situated right on the Greenbrier Riverbank, just to the left of the Memorial Pedestrian Bridge, and burned down years ago. Fortunately, the clock was saved as the Hanger family had moved it into storage just two weeks prior to the fire.
“Around two years ago an old National Geographic picture of the jewelry store was going around online, and it really created a sense of nostalgia for a lot of Alderson residents,” said Stacy Eskins, Main Street Alderson volunteer and an Alderson resident herself. “I got to thinking and it seemed that a new town clock was really something Alderson could get behind.”
Eskins took the initiative to approach the town and get the gears turning on the project, quickly gaining the blessing of local officials and organizations. Together with the help of Alderson Main Street members, including President Judy Lohmeyer and Treasurer Margaret Hambrick, as well as Alderson Mayor Travis Copenhaver, the clock project is now officially moving forward.
“We have been fundraising for the last two months, and out of our $15,000 goal we have already raised $13,856.84,” said Eskins. “That $15,000 will cover the building of the clock, concrete and electrical work, and hopefully some landscaping around it. We have been in communication with the clock company and the ball has already been put in motion.”
She said that as of this week, they hope to start the concrete work within 60 or so days, and be installing the clock within 90. The clock will stand at 10 feet, 10 inches tall with a LED backlight, roman numerals, and a 24” diameter face. It will read “Est. 1777 – Town of Alderson.”
“I’m proud to just be involved with this,” she said, “Everyone wants to see their hometown improve. The community has really rallied together for this project. I’m astounded and thankful.”
With donations coming in from Aldersonians near and far, she explained that that people living as far away as New York and California have reached out with well wishes and donations for the clock.
Eskins hopes the clock will be not only a beautiful addition to the town, but also an anchor to the community and a central hub and meeting point.
If you wish to donate to the project, checks can be made out to Alderson Main Street and mailed to P.O. Box 117, Alderson, WV 24910. Please write “Town Clock” in the memo. You can also make donations on Facebook to the Alderson Town Clock Project Fundraiser page.
Alderson Main Street is a US 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that continues revitalization efforts and economic development of Alderson, a small rural community.