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‘Ring with Pulaski Pride’

It’s been a symbol of the Town of Pulaski for years.
Perched high above the county courthouse, helping the townspeople keep track of time, the bell or clock tower draws a lot of attention from area residents and visitors alike.
Everyone sees it, but how many ever stop to think who keeps it working, or how it works for that matter.
Doug Hudson of Pulaski County General Properties shed some light on the workings of this iconic symbol Wednesday.
With its four clocks, one might wonder how hard it is to keep the time in sync. Luckily, for Hudson and other county employees charged with overseeing the workings of the clocks and bell, that’s no problem.
Although each of the large clocks has it’s own small box of mechanisms, an electronic control panel on the third floor of the courthouse keeps the time for all four, insuring they all read the same and that the bell chimes at the proper times.
Accessing the bell is no easy task. It requires climbing about four flights of very steep ladder-like stairs.
However, once the hatch is opened at the top of the stairs and you climb into the tower, you’re offered a view of the town that is well worth the effort.
We arrived just as the two-o’clock hour was approaching.
“Cover your ears,” Hudson warns. “I forgot what time it is.”
We stand, hands tightly covering our ears as we wait for two o’clock to arrive.
“Bong, bong,” the large bell chimes. I was expecting the clapper to swing back and forth hitting both sides of the bell, but it only has to take a little stroke to hit one side.
After a while we can uncover our ears.
The bell chimes once for each hour on the hour, and then chimes once on the half-hour. It maintained that schedule 24 hours a day, seven days a week until recently.
A while back, county officials decided to program the bell to stop chiming between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. so as not to disturb sleeping citizens.
The only maintenance generally requires making sure the time is correct on the control box, “springing forward” and “falling back” at the proper times, and having the manufacturer visit a few times a year to check it over and oil everything.
The first bell was hung in 1910, but this one there today is a replacement that was recast in 1992.
The original bell now sits in the hallway on the third floor of the old courthouse, still attached to the beam that held it in place until fire destroyed the courthouse in the early 1990s. That beam is charred and the bell is cracked from the heat of the fire and the fall when the tower collapsed.
Inscribed on the new bell is “Ring with Pulaski Pride.”

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‘Ring with Pulaski Pride’

It’s been a symbol of the Town of Pulaski for years.
Perched high above the county courthouse, helping the townspeople keep track of time, the bell or clock tower draws a lot of attention from area residents and visitors alike.
Everyone sees it, but how many ever stop to think who keeps it working, or how it works for that matter.
Doug Hudson of Pulaski County General Properties shed some light on the workings of this iconic symbol Wednesday.
With its four clocks, one might wonder how hard it is to keep the time in sync. Luckily, for Hudson and other county employees charged with overseeing the workings of the clocks and bell, that’s no problem.
Although each of the large clocks has it’s own small box of mechanisms, an electronic control panel on the third floor of the courthouse keeps the time for all four, insuring they all read the same and that the bell chimes at the proper times.
Accessing the bell is no easy task. It requires climbing about four flights of very steep ladder-like stairs.
However, once the hatch is opened at the top of the stairs and you climb into the tower, you’re offered a view of the town that is well worth the effort.
We arrived just as the two-o’clock hour was approaching.
“Cover your ears,” Hudson warns. “I forgot what time it is.”
We stand, hands tightly covering our ears as we wait for two o’clock to arrive.
“Bong, bong,” the large bell chimes. I was expecting the clapper to swing back and forth hitting both sides of the bell, but it only has to take a little stroke to hit one side.
After a while we can uncover our ears.
The bell chimes once for each hour on the hour, and then chimes once on the half-hour. It maintained that schedule 24 hours a day, seven days a week until recently.
A while back, county officials decided to program the bell to stop chiming between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. so as not to disturb sleeping citizens.
The only maintenance generally requires making sure the time is correct on the control box, “springing forward” and “falling back” at the proper times, and having the manufacturer visit a few times a year to check it over and oil everything.
The first bell was hung in 1910, but this one there today is a replacement that was recast in 1992.
The original bell now sits in the hallway on the third floor of the old courthouse, still attached to the beam that held it in place until fire destroyed the courthouse in the early 1990s. That beam is charred and the bell is cracked from the heat of the fire and the fall when the tower collapsed.
Inscribed on the new bell is “Ring with Pulaski Pride.”

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