For this week’s look at the BHHA Collection, lets take a look at the Steeple Building Clock Tower. The clock was installed in 1859 and created by three Bishop Hill Colonists: Swan Bjorklund, Peter O. Blomberg, and Lars Soderquist. The clock face and hour hand are made out of white pine. Tongue and groove boards were used to produce the clock face. The length of the hand is 34.25 inches. The diameter of the face is 50.5 inches. A original clock face is on display at the Steeple Building Museum.
There are some interesting stories about the clock. One such story was published in the Galva News in 1893:
The Old Town Clock, which has during the last half century sedately and correctly toiled the hours of day and night, from some cause or other, got kind of frisky last Thursday night, and instead of striking the customary ten strokes at that hour, it pealed out ninety-four resounding peals, to the great wonder of the natives. It may possibly have been striking yet, had not Peter Sandberg put a veto on its unseemly proceedings by hanging a monkey-wrench on the safety-valve or otherwise putting a check on its headlong career.
A later story revised the stroke count to 355, instead of 94 peals. The Steeple Building Clock continues to run to this very day.