Time is right to replace Dyersville clock?

Memorial Building earns a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. It has not changed much since 1929, except for the missing clock.

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Posted: Monday, June 3, 2013 12:00 am

DYERSVILLE, Iowa -- A postcard from 1930 shows a Memorial Building remarkably similar to the one that stands today.

But one major detail disappeared in the years since it was constructed in 1929 -- a clock that some hope to soon replace.

"It essentially looks just like it did when it was built, with a few changes," said Judy Weber, president of the Dyersville Area Historical Society. "The flagpoles are the same. The wording is the same. The roof is the same. The only thing missing is that clock."

The clock, a large-faced timepiece jutting out from the center of the building, was removed in 1967, "because it, quote, had refused to work for several years," Weber said.

Over the years, the Memorial Building has served as Dyersville's City Hall, fire station, American Legion Hall and municipal hub. It currently houses city administration, the police department and the historical society.

The exterior has been preserved well enough to earn the building a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. The historical society was just notified of the development last month.

The designation has reinforced a need to replace the clock, Weber said. Through a partnership with the city, grant opportunities and a fundraising campaign, the historical society will try to raise about $20,000 to meet that goal.

"I really think the community will step up and help us and continue to keep that building historic," Weber said. "It's historically significant. It's owned by the citizens of Dyersville."

For many of the community's older residents, the clock used to be a fixture on their morning commute, according to historical society volunteer and board member Judy Boeckenstedt.

"It'll make this building so much more visible," she said. "I think people just drive by. There's really nothing on this building that says anything that catches people's attention. The rest of the building is so intact historically; that is the one missing piece."

The first fundraiser will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 8. As part of Victory Ford's "Customer Appreciation Day," $5 will be donated to the historical society for each test drive taken during the event.

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