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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Benicia in Solano County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Clock Tower

Built in 1859

 
 
Clock Tower Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, February 20, 2009
1. Clock Tower Marker
Inscription.  The first stone fortress in the far west. Originally had two towers, but following an accidental explosion in 1912, it was rebuilt with only one tower and the present clock was installed. During the building’s history, it has served as a chapel, munitions depot, and as a National Guard Armory.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: MilitaryNotable BuildingsNotable Places. A significant historical year for this entry is 1912.
 
Location. 38° 2.767′ N, 122° 7.935′ W. Marker is in Benicia, California, in Solano County. Marker can be reached from Washington Street. Marker and site are located at the top of the hill. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1189 Washington Street, Benicia CA 94510, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Commandant's Home (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Gen. Quandt Lane (about 400 feet away); 1849 - Benicia Arsenal – 1964 (approx. 0.4 miles away); 1854 – Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church – 1954 (approx. 1.4 miles away); Saint Paul's Episcopal Church (approx.
Clock Tower Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, February 20, 2009
2. Clock Tower Marker
Click or scan to see
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1.4 miles away); World War I Memorial (approx. 1.4 miles away); Site of Benicia Seminary (approx. 1.4 miles away); First Masonic Hall Built in California (approx. 1.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Benicia.
 
Regarding Clock Tower. See “Near By” marker 1849 - Benicia Arsenal – 1964 for additional information.
 
Also see . . .
1. The Posts at Benicia – Building 29, The Clock Tower Building. (Submitted on February 21, 2009, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.)
2. The Benicia Arsenal. National Parks Service entry (Submitted on February 21, 2009, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.) 

3. A Photo of the Clock Tower, circa 1890. (Submitted on February 21, 2009, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.)
4. A Photo of the Clock Tower after the 1912 Explosion. (Submitted on February 21, 2009, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.)
 
Additional commentary.
1. The Clock Tower Fortress
Constructed in 1859, the Clock Tower Fortress is one of the largest and most important of the early Benicia Arsenal structures. The fortified storehouse had gunports aimed up the Suisun Bay and down the Carquinez
Clock Tower image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, February 20, 2009
3. Clock Tower
Straits. In 1912, the third floor was destroyed by explosions and fire and the building altered to a two story structure. Later, the City of Benicia adapted the building for community use by adding a kitchen and other support facilities.
Source: Office of Historic Preservation – State of California.
    — Submitted February 21, 2009, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.

2. The Clock Tower Fortress (1859)
The first U.S.military bastion and storehouse constructed in California. Built of sandstone quarried from surrounding hills, it commanded Carquinez Strait amd was designed to protect the post from Indian attacks. Today the building serves as a community center and is open to the public during scheduled functions.
Source: Historic Benicia Walking Tour brochure
    — Submitted February 21, 2009, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.
 
Inscription on Front of Building image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, February 20, 2009
4. Inscription on Front of Building
Clock Tower image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, February 20, 2009
5. Clock Tower
Clock Tower Building image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, February 19, 2009
6. Clock Tower Building
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 26, 2020. It was originally submitted on February 21, 2009, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona. This page has been viewed 1,918 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on February 21, 2009, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.

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Jul. 29, 2021