photos of Madison, NC

Town Clock

Soon after World War I ended, local citizens contributed money to purchase the Town Clock as a memorial to the men who served and died for our Country.  Purchased from Boston for approximately $600, this specially made number two striking clock is believed to have been shipped by boat to Wilmington, North Carolina and then by rail to Madison.  Engraved on the clock face are the words “All Those Who Served” and identically engraved on the clock Bell which was cast in Baltimore, Maryland by McNeely and Son.

In May 1919, Nat Pickett, a prominent businessman began construction of a large brick automobile garage on the corner of Dalton and Murphy Streets and agreed to house the Tower and Clock in his building. In March of 1920 the clock arrived in Madison and with the aid of pulleys was installed in Pickett’s Auto Company. 

In July 1923, Mr. Pickett sold the building housing the Town Clock to Central Carolina Warehousing Corporation for use as a farmer co-op to store and auction tobacco.  In January 1927, T. D Meador bought the building at public action and used the building as T.D. Meador Wholesale Grocery Company for several years.  In January 1951, Gem-Dandy Company purchased the building and soon after realized that provisions concerning ownership of the Town Clock had not been written in any of the real estate transfers.  In October 1968, Gem-Dandy President George Mason initiated a contract and agreement transferring rights in the clock to the Town of Madison. 

In 1968, a gear broke and silenced the chimes of the clock even though the clock still kept time.   In 1997 the clock’s timing mechanism failed and the Madison Historic District and Properties spearheaded a fundraising campaign to restore to the Clock. 

James Van Orsdel of The Clock Shop in Charlotte was able to restore the clock’s mechanism to keep time and commented that it was rare to find a clock of this type in its original condition.  Bill Payne, a mechanical engineer in Madison restored and synchronized the chimes and in December of 1997, the Town Clock’s chimes rang out across Madison for the first time in almost 30 years. 

The Town Clock still stands on the corner of Dalton and Murphy Streets and is a staple in Madison's History. 

Official Website of the Town of Madison, North Carolina.
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Background photo courtsey of Albert Cardwell