by Lisa Tome
Chesapeake City Mayor Dean Geracimos can't help but feel an attachment to the town's clock.
The clock was placed in front of the town hall to honor the memory of both Jack Ritter, Sr. and Robert Foard, Sr. Ritter is the the mayor's father-in-law. The clock was placed in Chesapeake City in 2009 by the Chesapeake City Lions Club. Geracimos was one of those who contributed funds to have it placed there.
While the mayor of Chesapeake City is attached to the clock there, only three other towns in Cecil County have their own "official" town clocks. As of last week, two of the Town clocks were not functioning properly.
"We've never had a town clock," said Cecilton town clerk Kim Roland. "We've never had a town square and that's a good reason why. There is no outdoor clock and and I don't think the churches chime (the time) either. But if people ask me what time it is, I will tell them," said Roland.
The Town of Elkton also doesn't have an official town clock. There is one in the downtown, near Lyon's Pharmacy, but that is privately owned. Elkton Town Clerk Michelle Henson said there are no plans to build or install a town clock. The clock that is there is not owned or maintained by the Town.
North East doesn't have a town clock either. There are two privately owned clocks at the West Street Village Mall (former Shoppes of Londonshire). One is inside the shopping plaza and one is outside. Last week, the exterior clock was covered by an advertisement.
Elizabeth Felts owns the mall and the clocks in North East. She said the clocks were recently maintained and upgraded with LED lights by Roger Lamb.
Charlestown also does not have a town clock. Instead, there are stocks along Market Street, adjacent to the town hall and post office.
Charlestown town board member Dr. Robert Gell said he has lived in the town 20 years and isn't certain why the town doesn't have a clock. Gell said the ideal location for a town clock would have been at the Charlestown Fire Company when that building was renovated.
Downtown Perryville had three clocks, all along Broad Street. The one in front of Rodgers Tavern was damaged by a vehicle and has been removed. There is a clock owned by David George at the Broad Street building which serves as home to the High Road School. There is also a town clock next to town hall. That clock does not display the correct time. On Tuesday, October 14 at noon, the clock read 9:05. "We need it to be fixed," said Perryville assistant town administrator Cathy McCardell.
A new clock is on the way. The Town of Perryille allocated funds for a new clock in the fiscal year 2015 budget. Where the clock will be placed has not been determined.
Port Deposit has a town clock. That clock is accurate and is on North Main Street just beyond Center Square.
Rising Sun's town clock is on East Main Street in front of town hall. The clock has an old town logo on it and does not keep time accurately.
"I'd like to see it working again. The time's not right and it needs a new graphic. We can budget it in the next budget cycle," said Mayor Travis Marion. The clock was donated to the Town of Rising Sun by Lowell McCoy and Dr. Charles Brandenburg.
Roger Lamb installed the clocks in several of the local towns and in the West Village Mall. Lamb builds the clocks, buys the castings, assembles, and finishes them. They start at $3,000 in price. He has been building clocks since 1998.
He installed two clocks in Perryville, one each in Fair Hill and Elkton, and also put clocks in Rising Sun, Port Deposit, and North East. "I build them custom for people. It's more a hobby than anything," said Lamb, who sells insurance for a living.
The clocks run by household current electricity. They can have a neon or LED display. They have dusk to dawn sensors. The clocks also come with a warranty and a service contract is available.
"I think they are a great addition to a town," said Lamb. He also said he hopes, in the future, to take down, repair, and refinish the clock in Rising Sun.
In addition to the local clocks, Lamb also built a clock which is in New York. That clock withstood Hurricane Sandy. He has also built clocks which are far from Cecil County. A Roger Lamb constructed clock is in Louisiana.