OLDEST -- Functioning Colonial Tower Clock in the USA - Charleston, SC
N 32° 46.581 W 079° 55.854
17S E 600124 N 3626999
Quick Description: St. Michael's Episcopal Church, located in Charleston, South Carolina, USA, is believed to have the oldest functioning colonial tower clock in the country.
Location: South Carolina, United States
Date Posted: 8/21/2008 9:41:01 AM
Waymark Code: WM4GBX
From the St. Michael's Episcopal Church
St. Michael’s Church is the oldest church edifice in the City of Charleston, standing on the site of the first Anglican Church built south of Virginia. In the 1680’s a small wooden church, the first in the new town of Charles Town, was built on this spot for the families of the Church of England, and named St. Philip’s. By 1727, the town had grown too large for the small church and a more spacious one was built of brick on Church Street, later destroyed by fire in 1835.
By 1751, St. Philip’s had again proved too small for the increasing population, and another church as authorized by the General Assembly of the Province, to be built on the old site and to be known as St. Michael’s. The cornerstone was laid in 1752 and in 1761 the church was opened for services. Except for the addition of the sacristy in 1883 on the southeast corner, the structure of the building has been little changed.
The steeple is 186 feet in height; the weather vane is 7 ½ feet long. The entire steeple sank eight inches as a result of the earthquake in 1886.
The clock and ring of eight bells were imported from England in 1764. The clock originally had only an hour hand for each face. In 1849, City Council asked permission to add a minute hand, which was granted. The Ainsworth-Thwaites clock was restored by Smith of Derby, London, England, in 1993. It is thought to be the oldest functioning colonial tower clock in the country. [bold emphasis added]