Clock at Woman’s Club of Accomack County a treasure hiding in plain sight

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Shown are the face and other components of a clock that is being restored and was formerly housed at the Woman’s Club of Accomack County.

BY TED SHOCKLEY, Eastern Shore Post —

An old clock had been standing for years behind a chair at the Woman’s Club of Accomack’s Carrie Watson Clubhouse in Onley.

During an initiative to freshen the interior, nobody quite knew what to do with it.

“You would never guess that it is something worthwhile,” said club member Annemarie Edgar, of Onancock.

But the timepiece was more historic than anyone realized.

Timothy Smith, an internationally known restorer and appraiser of antiques who has a business in Onancock, and area resident Mike Gould, told the club that the clock is a rare antique.

Construction of the Old English Tall Case Clock was traced to sometime between 1726 and 1766. It was made in England.

“What we don’t know is how the clock got to the United States,” said Edgar.

The club determined the clock was donated to the club in the 1960s by Herman C. Watson. Upon the death of his wife, Carrie, Watson gave the club the land and funded construction of the clubhouse that bears her name.

The clock has been appraised at more than $40,000, Edgar said. Gould is restoring the timepiece and Smith is restoring its housing.

When restoration is complete, it will be housed at Ker Place, headquarters of the Eastern Shore of Virginia Historical Society.

The woman’s club will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2024 and plans to use the clock as a focal point of its celebrations. 

Edgar said it was unique to have people with the specific talents and abilities nearby who were eager to help with the project.

“It is so strange how this whole thing came together,” she said. 

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