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"Stories from Silence" (Elkhart History - Part 2)


The cemeteries of Elkhart, Indiana (and nearby) have never before been documented in this way. The art, poetry, history, and stories come alive again thanks to a tour by local historian, Paul Thomas, and genealogist, Pat Johnson. Paul is the founder and curator of Elkhart's "Time Was Museum". Pat and a friend have documented and published several volumes of books indexing burials in the city cemeteries and most county cemeteries. These books can be found at any local library, at the Elkhart County Historical Museum, and also at the "Time Was Museum"


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The Elkhart County Courthouse Clock

... and what makes it tick

The first courthouse existed from 1833 until 1868 when it was torn down and a larger one built on the same location. The "new" courthouse was in operation by 1870 and had a clock tower located on the south end of the building. By 1905 this courthouse was renovated and the clock tower was rebuilt in the center of the building. At the same time an office wing was added to the south end of the building and another office wing was added to the north end of the building. This is how it is appears today.

The tower clock was installed in 1870 and was manufactured and installed by the E. Howard Clock Co. from Boston, Massachusetts. Today, the clock is ticking and chiming to alert people downtown of the current time just as it has since 1870.

Blake Eckelbarger is the current courthouse clock caretaker as was his grandfather and great-grandfather. You will hear him describe the history, importance, and future of the clock and he will take you on a guided tour of the clock mechanism and on up into the tower dome where the four clock faces reside. With 144 steps to climb to reach the clock mechanism and two additional vertical ladders to reach the clock faces, this video tour is the only way visitors are able to see and learn about it. In fact, it is just like being there!

The courthouse and its vintage clock are part of the heritage of Elkhart County, Indiana and this documentary is our best way of preserving this knowledge and experience to pass it on to future generations. 

Runtime approx. 50 minutes.