Georgetown Town Clock – Georgetown, South Carolina
South Carolina | SC Picture Project | Georgetown County Photos | Georgetown Town Clock
In 1841, a fire destroyed many Front Street businesses between Queen and Screven Streets. The old wooden market, which had sustained severe damage in the hurricane of 1822, was torn down as a fire break. In 1842 the entire block, including the market and adjacent Kaminski Building, was rebuilt. The clock tower pictured below was added around 1845.
Georgetown native Paige Sawyer, who contributed the photo above, adds the following information: “The town clock building is a Greek Revival structure and was originally used as an open air market. As early as 1788, the site at the foot of Screven Street had been the location of the town market. The brick building replaced an earlier wooden structure.
“In February of 1865, when Federal troops occupied Georgetown, the town council signed surrender papers in this building. In 1970 the Georgetown County Historical Commission purchased the town clock from the City of Georgetown. The Commission restored the structure and ever since it has housed the Rice Museum, which opened in May of that year during the celebration of the South Carolina Tricentennial. The clockworks in the tower were made operational again in 1975.”
Interestingly, the tower was struck by lightening in May 2007, freezing the hands at 4:27. After many years of hard work by Georgetown’s residents and leaders, the clock tower will finally start ticking again in 2012.