For our 50th anniversary year, we decided to have a look at our earliest Coastal Journal editions for a glimpse into the landscapes of yesteryear. We plan to track down (if possible) the location of places featured in old photographs and take new, updated ones, showing how things have changed in the Midcoast over the last 50 years.

Hallet’s clock was one of the featured news items in the very first issue of the Coastal Journal on Nov. 3, 1966.

The clock was drawn into public eye 50 years ago when Harry C. Crooker (owner of the well-known Brunswick construction company) purchased the clock, intending to remove it to his recreational area at Thomas Point Beach.

However, public backlash followed his efforts. After many citizens expressed to the Bath City Council that the clock should remain in Bath, Crooker graciously gave the clock to the city.

City Council voted Nov. 9, 1966 to keep the clock on Front Street. Later, the clock was moved farther up the street to the corner of Front and Centre (possibly when sidewalks were widened and changed from cement to brick).

Hallet’s clock has been the sentry of downtown Bath since 1915, when Hallet’s Pharmacy owner Fred C. Cox purchased it from Boston American Newspaper in Massachusetts and placed it in front of the store.

Used as a landmark, meeting spot and timekeeper ever since, it is one of around 200 made by Seth Thomas Clockworks of Connecticut, one of the oldest clockmakers in the country.

Only a handful are still in working order and contain the original mechanisms that make them run. Many have been converted to electric mechanisms.

But Bath’s clock has all its original works, remarkable considering it sits out in the elements year-round. Currently, the clock is maintained by the city, specifically Michael Peabody, facilities director for the City of Bath, who winds the clock on a weekly basis by raising a large internal weight.

The old picture shown was published in the second edition of the Coastal Journal, and shows the clock as it stood in 1966. Also worth noting is the color: The original Coastal Journal article refers to it as the “big red clock,” as opposed to the dark green color it is today.

Special thanks to Robin A.S. Haynes of Patten Free Library’s Sagadahoc History and Genealogy Room for assistance. Early editions of the Coastal Journal are preserved on microfiche and archived at the library. To our knowledge, no print copies exist before July 1969.

Additional information was found Bath Historical Society’s webiste, bathhistorical.com.