“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Richfield Springs in Otsego County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

The Thomas R. Proctor Clock

The Thomas R. Proctor Clock Marker image. Click for full size.
By TeamOHE, June 4, 2019
1. The Thomas R. Proctor Clock Marker
Inscription.  This landmark clock was formerly located in the center of Route 20 at the intersection of the four corners of Main, Church and Lake Streets. The unique design was executed by Gorham, the New York firm of jewelers and silversmiths, and it is considered an historic landmark identifying the village far and wide. On September 11, 1918 the clock was put into operation. It functioned as an unusual traffic signal until it was moved to the present location.

Thomas Redfield Proctor, born May 25, 1844 in Proctorville, Vermont was the donor of this outstanding gift to the village. Proctor's great grandfather, an Army officer in the Revolutionary War was the founder of that town. Thomas Proctor attended school in Boston and served as a Union Naval officer in the Civil War. He was decorated for meritorious conduct by the Secretary of the Navy. After working as a hotel manager in Nyack, in 1869 he arrived in Utica and purchased Bagg's Hotel. In time he became acquainted with Maria Williams who lived with her family in their Genesee St. mansion. The couple married in 1891 and lived in the Williams mansion, today the nucleus of Utica's
The Thomas R. Proctor Clock image. Click for full size.
By TeamOHE, June 4, 2019
2. The Thomas R. Proctor Clock
art center, the Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute.

Some years before his marriage Proctor purchased the Spring House which set here on the village-owned Spring Park. Establishing a summer home across Church St. Proctor operated the hotel until its destruction by fire in 1897.

The clock was not the only gift from Proctor to the village. The library, designed in the Prairie style which American architect Frank Lloyd Wright had pioneered, was the most appreciated. It formally opened in January 1911. Proctor insisted his name not be used in connection with the library but an extensive 1919 addition was named the Proctor Memorial Room. He and his brother Frederick built the room to commemorate their sisters, Dalusia and Lomy. Large portraits of the women still enhance the room.

The last of Proctor's gifts to the village, John D. Cary Park, which encompasses 25 acres on Prospect Hill at the village's western edge, was dedicated July 4, 1918. The centerpiece of the park is a 32 ton boulder taken from the "wilds” a few miles east of the village. It was inched along by horse-drawn sled over the course of two winters before it was placed in its appointed location.

Thomas Redfield Proctor died in 1920. Although his name has not survived as a household word, residents remain mindful of his generosity.
Re-Dedication Plaque image. Click for full size.
By TeamOHE, June 4, 2019
3. Re-Dedication Plaque
1999 by 4th Grade Students, Richfield Springs Central School.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureParks & Recreational AreasWar, US CivilWar, US Revolutionary.
Location. 42° 51.212′ N, 74° 59.09′ W. Marker is in Richfield Springs, New York, in Otsego County. Marker is at the intersection of East Main Street (U.S. 20) and Church Street (New York State Route 167), on the left when traveling east on East Main Street. On the grounds of the Spring Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 27 E Main St, Richfield Springs NY 13439, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Spring House (within shouting distance of this marker); Desert Storm Veterans Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); French War - 1757 (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ganowauges (about 500 feet away); Richfield Hotel (approx. 0.2 miles away); Brighton (approx. 2˝ miles away); John Tunnicliff Jr (approx. 3˝ miles away); Public Library (approx. 4.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Richfield Springs.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 13, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 12, 2020, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 29 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 12, 2020, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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Feb. 26, 2021