Man comes to ailing clock tower’s rescue once again
ROCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — A retired New Hampshire county commissioner with a background in electronics fixed a 78-year-old clock tower, nearly two decades after he brought it back to life the first time.
Back in 1999, Paul Dumont, of Rochester, worked with the graduating class of Spaulding High School to restore its iconic clock tower, which had been frozen for about a dozen years. The clock tower worked fine until this summer, when the completion of sprinkler work at the school froze it again.
School facilities director David Totty tried to install a digital timer that would keep accurate time to within one-1,000th of a second, but it didn’t work. Totty called a phone number written on the side of the clock tower’s failed timing mechanism and got Dumont.
Dumont, 87, was able to fix it. This time, he left instructions for future generations.
“It’s a great clock,” he said. “It’s old, but it’s a very well designed clock.”
Spaulding High School is considered a landmark in Rochester. The Georgian revival-style building was named “the most beautiful public high school in New Hampshire” in the September issue of Architectural Digest magazine. The magazine likened the building to the famed river houses at Harvard University.
“The first time I climbed up in that tower, I fell in love with the clock,” Totty said. “As the director of facilities, I’m very proud of it and I’m happy to see it running again.”