Clock works in the Hamilton Congregational ChurchPlaces

The clock tower at Hamilton First Church

Hamilton First Church in the early 20th Century

Hamilton First Church in the early 20th Century

A parish of the town of Ipswich known as the Hamlet established a Meeting House in 1713. The town parish broke away from Ipswich in 1793 to become the Town of Hamilton. The present meeting mouse for the First Congregational Church of Hamilton was constructed in 1762, reusing some of the framing from the earlier structure. By 1843, the new meetinghouse was showing its age. The building was picked up and turned 90 degrees to face the Bay Road, and the present bell was installed in the belfry. In 1888 a clock manufactured by E. Howard & Company of Boston was added to accompany the bell.

Pastor David Horn graciously gave a couple of us the opportunity to climb into the clock and bell tower, where I took the photos shown below.


The first thing you see when you climb into the attic is this large weight swinging from the clock, which sits on the floor above.

First Church Hamilton MA roof construction

The church roof has the original 1762 rafter and purlin construction. Some of the beams are believed to have been repurposed from the earlier structure.


The gears in the clock belfry at Hamilton First Congregational Church


This shaft operates the heavy weight shown in the photo above.

Bell at Hamilton Church

The 1843 bell is higher up in the steeple above the clock.

Related Posts

The First Church Clock

As the parish records of First Church in Ipswich tell us, “A clock purchased by subscription was landed in Ipswich May 29, 1762. The Parish on May 31st voted their readiness to receive it into the steeple of this meeting house and September 16, 1762 they voted to be at the charge of putting it up there.”


Stories from Hamilton

Matthew Whipple house, 638 Bay Road, Hamilton (c 1680) - The Matthew Whipple house in Hamilton (originally part of Ipswich) is an early example of a lean-to incorporated into the original framing of a First Period house. Transom windows in the front and sides were replaced by Georgian-era double hung windows, and have been restored.
935 Bay Road, Hamilton MA 935 Bay Road, Hamilton MA, the Dane house - The date of construction is not available. The 1872 Hamilton map shows the owner of this house as Captain Dane. The owner in 1884 is "L. Dane." Several members of the Dane family lived in the vicinity.
Isinglass Mill in Ipswich MA The Mill Road Bridge and the Isinglass Factory - The triple stone arch Warner Bridge that connects Mill Rd. in Ipswich to Highland St. in Hamilton was constructed in 1829, and rebuilt in 1856. The isinglass mill sat on the downstream Ipswich side of the bridge.
Clock works in the Hamilton Congregational Church The clock tower at Hamilton First Church - In 1843, the Hamilton meetinghouse was turned 90 degrees to face the Bay Road, and the present bell was installed in the belfry. In 1888 a clock manufactured by E. Howard & Company of Boston was added to accompany the bell.
masconomet tombstone The Bones of Masconomet - On March 6, 1659 a young man named Robert Cross dug up the remains of the Agawam chief Masconomet, and carried his skull on a pole through Ipswich streets, an act for which Cross was imprisoned, sent to the stocks, then returned to prison until a fine was paid.
Nancy Astor, Hamilton MA Nancy’s Corner - Google Maps used to show "Nancy's Corner" at the intersection of Highland Street and Cutler Road in Hamilton. I wondered who Nancy was and discovered an amazing story.
Wagon train leaving from Rev. Cutler's church in Ipswich, bound for Marietta Ipswich to Marietta, December 1787 - In December 1787, a group of Revolutionary War veterans and adventurers set out from Ipswich on an 800-mile journey through the wilderness by horseback and rafts to establish the first settlement in the Ohio Territory.
Asbury Grove entrance Asbury Grove Methodist Camp Meeting, Hamilton MA - The Asbury Grove Methodist Camp Meeting on Asbury St. in Hamilton is listed in the National Register of Historic Districts, and has a collection of historic buildings that were built between 1870 and 1960. 12,000 people, most from Boston, attended the first camp meeting in 1859.
1793 and 1818: the “Burden of the Poor” divides Ipswich into 3 towns, Ipswich, Hamilton and Essex - As the people of the Hamlet were financially stable, the burden of taxation for the support of the poor in the old town of Ipswich was considered to be an unjust imposition. The leaders of the parish petitioned Ipswich to be allowed to incorporate as the new town of Hamilton. 25 years later, the men of Chebacco petitioned the Legislature for incorporation as a separate town, and to not be held for any part of the new establishment for the relief of the poor in Ipswich. The following year, Chebacco Parish became the Town of Essex

Categories: Places

Tagged as: ,

2 replies »

Leave a Reply to Jack Hauck Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.