PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — One of three historical clocks is about to go on public display once again in downtown Panama City.
Workers installed it in the middle of the new roundabout at 4th Street and Harrison Avenue.
This old clock has held watch over Harrison Avenue for more than 90 years.
In July 1926 the clock chimed for the first time on Harrison Avenue outside what was then the First National Bank.
“The original name was First National Bank and then Black Insurance Agency,” Bay County Historical Society Treasurer Tem Fontaine said. “Then they took it to Commercial Bank, and then Commercial turned to SunTrust, and then finally turned to Thrivent.”
When Bubber Nelson moved Commercial Bank to the corner of 7th and Harrison in 1957, he brought the clock with him.
That’s where it stood until October 10, 2018, when Hurricane Michael made landfall.
“There was only one face still left on it,” Fontaine said. “The other three faces were destroyed.”
After the storm, Suntrust Bank chose not to repair the clock.
It stayed frozen in time. The hands reading 2:44, for more than a year.
“One of our members spotted the trucks, picking up all the debris, and was fixing to take the original clock put it in the debris truck, and haul it to the landfill,” Fontaine said. “He said, wait a minute, let’s not do that….He got with the Historical Society. We got with a man named Bill Register. And we got a crane down there, and we actually harvested it.”
Historical Society members decided to donate the clock to Panama City to be used in the Harrison Avenue revitalization project.
The city repaired the clock and has made it the centerpiece of the roundabout.
“100 percent of it is not part of the original,” Panama City Public Works Director Jonathan Hayes said. “ There were some restoration needed, but the majority of the clock is the original part.”
The clock unveiling ceremony is Tuesday, October 10.
“It’s a perfect way again to commemorate the rebirth of the city after a Cat five hurricane did a pretty good number on us,” Fontaine said.
One of the other two antique clocks is mounted on the old bank building at Harrison and Beach Drive.
The third is in the basement of the historical society.