170 Year Old French Clock – A Clock Story from the Benicia State Capitol

In the Benicia Capitol SHP, on First and “ G “ Streets , there resides a 170 year old clock made in France. The clock was sent to “Gold Rush” California via ship around the Horn of South America. The French clock maker delivered the 1847 clock to Sperry & Co. in San Francisco in 1855. For years it tocked away in a hotel in Placerville, California.
It is unclear how the Clock got into the Benicia Capitol. The “ works ” inside the clock are from the 1700’s , as it was common to re-use “ works ” as they were so well made.
This clock has been clicking right along all this time. That is until this past summer. For some reason, maybe age, or dust, the ancient time piece stopped !!
Enter Joe Steffen , of Steffen’s Antiques ( who tends the four ancient clocks in the Capitol and the Fischer – Hanlon House ) , his friends Chris Mamere ( a clock repair man ) and Will Beasley ( a Capitol Docent ).
These three worked on the aged timepiece for quite awhile. The clock would work for a few days and then have a temper tantrum and stop ! We were all going crazy trying to guess the problem.
Finally, on Thursday Feb.2nd , they got the clock ticking, and after a brief hick up, it has been chugging along like it was new. Not bad for a 170 year old time piece!
If you have a hankering to see this marvelous piece of history, stop by the Capitol, purchase a ticket and learn more about our Historic town.