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Historic clock being repaired at Rock Island Arsenal

February 4, 2018

In this Jan. 28, 2018 photo, Jessie Lasky, peers through one of the openings in the clock face in the tower building while on a tour of it on Arsenal Island of the Clock Tower building on Arsenal Island, in Rock Island, Ill. The Army Corps of Engineers' logistics office is working to repair the clock.  It serves as the headquarters for the Corps' Rock Island District. Free tours are offered at the two-story-tall room that houses the 1867 clock. (Brian Achenbachr/QConline.com via AP)

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (AP) — A historic clock at a tower at the Rock Island Arsenal in Illinois is being repaired.

The Army Corps of Engineers’ logistics office is working on the project, The Dispatch-Argus reported. The clock tower building serves as the headquarters for the Corps’ Rock Island District.

“From time to time, something’ll give out,” said park ranger Mike McKean. “Some of the faces will get frozen, so the arms don’t want to move well. There have been times when it’s gone down, but it’s usually not for extended periods of time.”

Free tours are offered at the two-story room that houses the 1867 clock. Its walls are covered with messages written since 2000, including a marriage proposal.

“You have history literally written on the wall,” the ranger said. “There’s literally a log of different repairs made on the clock written on the wall.”

According to a display, the tower also includes a more than 3,500-pound (1,587-kilogram) bell outside on the roof. Residents would complain that the bell was too loud, and it was disconnected. It reconnected in 1945 at its lowest possible noise level.

The limestone clock tower has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1988. The Corps moved its offices to the tower from downtown Rock Island in 1931.

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Information from: The Dispatch - The Rock Island Argus, http://www.qconline.com

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