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Time stands still: Downtown Fargo clock tower paused temporarily for repairs

Tom Smith shows how to reset the clocks in the tower of the Great Northern Bicycle Co. building, 425 Broadway N., Fargo, on March 3, 2015. Forum file photo

FARGO — It's high time to fix the old clock that rises above downtown Fargo's Great Northern Bicycle Co., 425 Broadway N., according to owner Tom Smith.

The clock that's displayed the time since 1906 became unreliable late last month. The problem only intensified Monday, Dec. 4, when the electrical motor that moves the clock hands failed entirely.

That's why staff removed the faulty motor and ordered replacement parts to get things running in time for New Year's Eve, if all goes well.

Smith said in a news release that the clock faces are set to 6 o'clock for now. Illumination is also turned off.

The business took over the former Great Northern Depot in 2008, effectively becoming clock keepers in the process.

Smith said the original clock on the tower was started Oct. 17, 1906. Clock faces were removed from the tower in the mid-1930s, prompting harsh criticism from some in the community because they were replaced with Great Northern Railway's goat emblem.

A new clock took its place April 15, 1941, and that's what locals have seen ever since.

Smith said the clock's Westinghouse electrical motor was manufactured Nov. 4, 1935, and it's been operating nearly constantly since 1941.

Ryan Johnson

Ryan Johnson is the Features Editor for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. He previously wrote for The Forum and the Grand Forks Herald.

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