On Friday September 25, 2009, the 75-year-old Dreger Clock, looking like a brand new clock, made its way to a new life. The clock was hoisted up and attached to the newly designed post in front of the Whitaker/Jaynes House along Beach Blvd.
Matt Fitch of the Clock Man in Fullerton completed the restoration, placed the glass faces back into the clock frame, hooked up power, and set the hands. The clock is up and running, standing proudly next to Beach Blvd. across the street from the Buena Park Civic Center.
The OC Register ran an article on the installation in the Saturday, October 26, edition. You can see the article on their website. A slideshow of photos from the installation can be found here.
The Dreger Clock is now carrying the original name of the natural spring and oasis that Spanish land owners gave to it: Plaza Buena - Beautiful Place. This is the root that became the name of James Whitaker's little town that would become the city of Buena Park.
The Dreger Clock began its life in the city of Long Beach where it spent 20 years in front of its maker's home. After Andrew Dreger, Sr's death, the clock was transferred to Walter Knott's care. It spent the next 52 years at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, the town where it has spent most of its life.
We hope you can attend the dedication ceremony for the Dreger Clock next Saturday (October 3, 2009, at 11:30am) but if you can't, please come by and see the clock the next time you are driving on Beach near the 5 freeway!
We have created a limited edition cloisonne' lapel pin - (size 1 1/8 inches) commemorating the 2009 restoration of the Dreger Clock. These limited edition pins (only 250 have been made) are being provided to all who donate a financial gift of $8 or more to the Dreger Clock restoration project. Previous donors will also receive pins. If you have donated previously and plan to attend the dedication event, please sign in at our materials table and we can get them to you at the event. Otherwise we will mail them to you. To donate toward the restoration project, go to our donations page. You may donate by check, credit card or PayPal.
The clock body has been repainted, the gears cleaned and polished, and the gearwork is being put back together. Once fully assembled, the clock will be run for a number of weeks to test the accuracy of the mechanism.
The location for the Dreger clock is prepared. Mike Ells General Contracting poured the concrete foundation, installed the new clock stand/post and also put in the antiqued brick walkway at the foot of the clock base. The site is now ready for the clock to be hoisted in place bolted in place and have electrical power run to it through the pre-installed electrical conduit. The Clock is undergoing final testing and careful installation of the restored decorative elements.
The Dreger Clock's new home has been approved by the City planning department. The clock will be installed on the grounds near the Whitaker/Jaynes House in what is called "Plaza Buena" the city's historical park. The park is located along Beach Blvd just south of the 5 freeway and across the street from the city hall and the under construction new police station.
The location plan shown above indicates that the clock (in green) will be installed so it can be viewed from the street, and a curved brick walkway will allow visitors to walk to the clock and enjoy it up close.
The new post/stand for the clock was designed by Ed Frank, who personally knew Andrew Dreger Sr, the clock's designer. Ed brought his design and engineering skills to the project as a labor of love to honor the man who sponsored his family when the Franks immigrated to the US after World War II.
The clock stand was welded together by Scott McGrath a skilled metal worker who does professional metal sculpture and decorative ironwork in central California.
In addition to the design work by Ed Frank, we want to thank Garth Dreger CE for the structural calculations. Garth is the Grandson of Andrew Dreger Sr. and he donated his engineering skills and many hours working up the needed structural calculations and a seismic survey for the clock stand design. Without the donation of these skills and the many hours involved in the stand design, we would not be able to provide the City with the needed plans for the project's installation! Thank you for your work!
One of the Dreger Clock's glass faces had some bad cracks as well as oil staining. The Date and Phase of the Moon face was in need of replacement for the restoration of the clock.
All the faces were originally hand painted and the craftsmanship of them was obviously done with loving care. A brand new twin to the original face has been hand painted and is ready to take its place in the clock! Patrick Smith did a beautiful and professional job recreating the clock face on a new piece of glass.
The original face has of course been kept and is on display in the Dreger Clock exhibit in the Whitaker/Jaynes House.
In addition to the face, more parts are being recreated and made to last the years. Several of the exterior decorative parts which were originally made of wood were in very bad shape due to water damage. We have recreated these parts in aluminum and when finished they will be durable replacements.
The Dreger Clock got an interesting Christmas gift this year. Jay Jennings who has a great virtual museum of his Knott's memorabilia online at: knottsberryfarm.blogspot.com emailed me a photo of the clock from his own slide collection. Jay also shared a black and white photo of the clock last year as seen above. If you have any old family photos that show the clock, and you would like to share them with others, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for the photos Jay! See more photos of the clock in our online photo gallery
The Buena Park Historical Society had its information booth up at the annual Silverado Days event, which was held on October 17, 18 and 19 at William Peak Park, Buena Park. The Dreger Clock project brochure and other information about the Society's projects was handed out to the residents of Buena Park.
Thank you to all the volunteers who manned the booth, such as Alcene Cain, Cynthia Thacker, Gail Dixon, Chris Brown, Al and Billie Whitsett,(those pictured left to right) Barbara O'Brian, Art Brown and Van Nguyen.
Word about the Dreger clock was spread this past weekend in Anaheim. The Anaheim Historical Society held their annual historical home tour and we thought people interested in historic homes might also like to know about the Dreger Clock restoration project.
On October 12 and 13 we handed out our new brochure about the project and had a lot of people say, "Oh yeah! I remember the clock!"
It was fun meeting a lot of new people and getting the word out.
A new brochure which introduces people to the Dreger Clock project is being produced and will soon be available at various local supporting groups and companies.
(Click here to view a pdf of the brochure.)
If your club, group, or company would like to put brochures out for your customers or visitors, please email us and let us know! Brochures will be available at the Dreger Clock booth at the Anaheim Historical Society's event on October 11 & 12, and at the Buena Park Historical Society's booth at Buena Park's Silverado Days event October 17 - 19.
The Clock Man shop is now proudly displaying a banner for the Dreger Clock project. Stop by The Clock Man, located at 205 West Commonwealth Ave. Fullerton, and see the amazing collection they have.
Work has begun on the clock!
We have started taking off some of the metal exterior decorations to clean and restore them. The 'date and moon phase' face has been removed because of an unfortunate crack in the glass which existed before BPHS purchased the clock. The face will be replaced with a replica to match. Calculations regarding the electrical motor are also being done to make sure the clock runs at an accurate speed. Plans are also underway for the design of the pedestal that the restored clock will sit upon.
The Dreger Clock took a little journey today. The 70-year-old timepiece finally left the storage warehouse where it has been hidden from the public for over a year. Mounted on a heavy pallet and wrapped in protective plastic, it made a short journey on the back of a flatbed truck to the workshop at "The Clock Man" in Fullerton where it will begin its rejuvenation process. The first steps of its facelift will be to carefully remove the decorative metal exterior pieces and clean the surfaces. The electrical motor that drives the gear-work will be examined. Replacement or repair of this central power source will allow us to test the timing of the clock. Plans are also underway for the paint scheme and pedestal design for the clock. As these plans are finalized, we look forward to showing our supporters the step by step process of the clock's restoration.
The Dreger Clock has undergone the first of step of the physical restoration process. This week the head of the clock was unbolted from the post and it was mounted on a pallet so it can be worked on at eye level. This is also in preparation for the big move. On Tuesday, September 2nd the clock will be moved from the warehouse where it is currently stored, to The Clock Man in Fullerton where Matt Fitch will begin the restoration process!
The photo on the right is not a current photo of the head mounted on the base, but is a photo from Knott's (probably in the 1970's or 1980's) when it was being worked on. As you can see, this is not the first time that the clock has lost its head. We will have photos of the clock being moved when that happens next week and show photos of the work and plans as they progress. Thank you for your continued support and please consider donating toward the work if you can.
The Buena Park Historical Society's Board reviewed the restoration bid from The Clock Man - www.theclockmanonline.com at their meeting on August 11, 2008 and approved them to begin the restoration work on the Dreger Clock! Plans are being made to move the Dreger Clock from storage to Matt Fitch's shop where work can begin! We are excited to get to this step in the project and work with Matt on this project.
As you heard last month, the Dreger Clock restoration team plans changed -- requiring us to find a new team for the hands-on work. Although the Ventura and San Fernando Valley Chapters of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors won't be directly involved in the project, Ken McWilliams, President of the San Fernando Chapter, is still personally involved. Ken meet with Matt Fitch of The Clockman, a clock repair shop in Fullerton, CA to discuss the possibilities of this local shop taking on the project.
Ken and Matt examined the Dreger Clock first-hand to discuss the details of the upcoming restoration work. Matt hand-turned the mechanism and we got to see the hands of ALL the faces move in sync. It was exciting to see that no clock face seemed to be malfunctioning! Hopefully this means that only cleaning and adjusting will be necessary, since it seems that there are no broken teeth in the gear work!
Plans are now being made as to the visual presentation of the clock after the restoration. The Dreger Clock has had several different color schemes over its 70 year life. Originally it was adorned with a simple silver and brass exterior. During its time at Knott's Berry Farm it was painted white and red for a while, and later it took on two different paint schemes of green. We hope to pick a historically accurate color scheme as well as one that will be fitting for its future home near the Whitaker-Jaynes House along Beach Blvd.
Last March, the Board of Trustees of the Buena Park Historical Society (BPHS) voted to select two chapters of the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors to do the work required for the Dreger Clock Restoration Project.
This Board approval came after the presidents of San Fernando Valley Chapter 75 and Ventura County Chapter 190 examined the Dreger Clock with BPHS officials.
Unfortunately, a number of months passed while the NAWCC groups attempted to pull together a committed team of volunteers and locate a suitable working and storage warehouse near the teams. It was only after the past few months went by before BPHS learned from the NAWCC chapters that they were unable to gather a sufficient workforce to complete refurbishment of the Dreger Clock.
Certainly those among the NAWCC teams who really did want to be involved in our historic project are the most disappointed of all, and some of them have even come forward to offer their individual services to BPHS as we fall back and regroup ourselves.
This probably means the Buena Park Historical Society will hire professionals to complete the Dreger Clock Restoration Project after all. We had initially wanted to attempt to get this project done through an all-volunteer team because it fit so well with our mission and organization. So we are now re-connecting with some of the professional clock restoration businesses and pursuing that route.
Despite the change in plans, we think it is better that we made this change in direction before getting the clock partially disassembled. While we are not pleased to have lost three months, we are grateful for the forthright candor of all involved and still hope to see the Dreger Clock restored and installed for the public to enjoy by the end of 2008!
The Buena Park Historical Society's annual Olde Tyme Picnic was held on April 12th at the city historical park. Tours of the museum were provided and the "Spotlight Performers" of the Buena Park Youth Theatre performed song and dance, as well as provide their sounds system for the event. We had an info table and powerpoint show about the Dreger Clock where people could find out about the project and donate to it. We also had a local Girl Scout troup attend the picnic, and they are considering making the Dreger Clock a fund raising project for their troup!
Our restoration team is ready to begin doing the hands on work to restore the clock, but because our team is located in the San Fernando Valley and Ventura County, we need to find a warehouse space, or storage workshop where the clock could be moved for about 5-6months of work.
If you know of anyone who might be able to provide a work/storage space between Ventura county and the San Fernando Valley area, please contact us! Thank you!
Glenn Frank introduced the Buena Park Chamber of Commerce to the Dreger Clock project at their monthly breakfast. Many of the members there remembered the clock from years ago and were interested in hearing about its upcoming restoration.
The Board of Trustees of the Buena Park Historical Society acted last night to engage Chapters 75 and 190 (San Fernando Valley and Ventura chapters) of the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors to refurbish the Dreger Clock.
Plans to begin the hands-on work will begin immediately, followed by moving the clock from the storage warehouse in La Mirada to a work location.
We will have ongoing photos of the restoration process available here at the dregerClock.org website. A tentative completion date is expected in the Fall of 2008!
The Dreger Clock had some visitors last month. Two clock restoration experts, Ken McWilliams and Mike Schmidt came to visit the clock in its storage warehouse. Ken and Mike are the presidents of the San Fernando Valley and Ventura chapters of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors. Ken and Mike were there to see the Dreger clock first hand and to consider volunteering their skills and their clubs to the project.
After their visit in February, they both proposed taking on the project to their clubs. Both chapters enthusiastically accepted the challenge to restore the Dreger clock! The work will be done by volunteers with professional skills. We of course still need to pay for moving, storing and the materials needed for the restoration work, but this solution will allow more of our donated funds go toward the actual clock repair.
We hope that work can begin on the clock as early as the beginning of April. We will post updates and photos of the work on the dregerclock.org website as the work progresses. An estimated completion date, dedication and unveiling of the clock could take place in the fall of 2008!
We do still need your financial support for materials, supplies, moving costs, and warehouse rental space. So if you can help, please make a small or large donation to the project by mail or online. You can do either by going to our donations information page
Our thanks again to the Orange County Register and writer Michael Mello who ran an "update on the Dreger Clock Project" in the North Orange County section of the Sunday paper.
The latest (spring 2008) issue of the City of Buena Park's Buena Park Today magazine talked about the Dreger Clock and the restoration project on page 26. Our thanks to the City of Buena Park and the City Manager's office for their support in preserving the Dreger Clock as an icon of the city's history.
You can download a PDF copy of the magazine at: http://www.buenapark.com/6new/com_news.htm and then click the "Buena Park Today Newsletter" linked text. (2.89 mb download)
We have started an article in the free online encyclopedia: wikipedia.org for the Dreger Clock. We will be adding basic information and images as we can, but if you are a 'wikipedian' yourself, and would like to do some historical research (track down any historical newspapers or other references to the clock) to add to the entry, please do!
The Buena Park Independent published a wonderful article about the Dreger Clock on their front page of the week of January 25th edition! Our thanks to the BP Independent and the writer, Ted Apodaca. We have posted a copy of the article on the Dreger Clock website here: Click for Article
Our sincere thanks goes to the Orange County Historical Society for featuring the Dreger Clock in their newsletter last month, and for inviting us to come set up an information table about the clock at their January 10th meeting! It was wonderful to see many people who have already shown their support to us, as well as meet new people who were excited to hear that the clock will be restored and preserved for the future.
If your club or organization would like to have us set up a Dreger Clock information table at a meeting, or present a talk and/or powerpoint presentation about the clock, please contact us. Your club might also be interested in publishing an article about the Dreger Clock in your newsletter or website. We can furnish photos, information or whole articles that you can republish. Just
let us know!
The Whitiker-Jaynes House is not only a historic home, but it's also Buena Park's primary local history museum. The house is located across from the City Hall on Beach Boulevard, just north of 10th street and south of the 5 freeway. Later this year we plan to install the refurbished Dreger Clock near the historic house. The Buena Park Historical Society, which maintains the local history museum, gave us some display space in the upstairs gallery to show a collection of our photographs of the clock, along with a little of its history. If you are in the area and would like to take a tour of local Buena Park history, stop by the Whitiker-Jaynes House and take the short tour. Contact the Buena Park Historical Society to confirm hours when tours are available.
Our sincere thanks goes to a number of people who write and maintain blogs (web logs) and websites about Orange County History, clocks, and Knott's Berry Farm. We have had a lot of exposure to the public through the 'New Media' of the internet. Below are links to some of the recent online media who have helped us get the word out!
News Plus Notes - Amusement Park News
The NAWCC Chapter 69's newsletter -- Tick Talk Times (Dec 2007 and Jan 2008 issues)
Outside the Berm Blog
Family Vacation Getaway
Thanks again to other blogers and site owners who have also helped, whom we have mentioned in past news posts. You can find other related links here at our Links Page.
We have talked to several other sites who have told us that they will be placing links to us soon too!
You can help get the word out too, if you manage a website or blog, or know someone who does and might be interested in the clock project. We have a page of copy-and-paste website code that can be placed on sites to display a graphical link.
If you are interested in getting a shirt or a mug or some other memento to show your support of the Dreger Clock Restoration Project, we have added a little online store of Dreger Clock items (through CafePress.com) profits from the sale of items will go toward the donations to restore the Dreger Clock.
Donations for the clock restoration are starting to roll in now. Total donations toward the purchase, restoration, installation and maintenance of the clock are at $10,365.00, which is about 1/3 of the total we hope to raise before next April. Thank you to all of you who have been able to support our efforts financially!
You can keep an eye on the progress at the website. We have a progress thermometer on the site which is updated at least once a week. If you can, and would like to contribute financially toward the restoration project, go to dregerclock.org/help/donations.php. Your donations to the Buena Park Historical Society for the Dreger Clock project are tax deductible.
The Orange County Chapter of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (Chapter 69) was introduced to the Dreger Clock during their December 7th, 2007 meeting. Glenn Frank gave a short powerpoint presentation and found a number of clock enthusiasts who were very interested in the Dreger Clock.
The NAWCC also promoted our project in their December Newsletter. You can visit their website at: http://www.nawcc69.org.
We have added a new photo-gallery section to the website. Photos will be continuously added to this section, so come see some of the photos which cover categories such as:
* Before the clock moved to Knott's
* Photos from its years at Knott's
* Photos from inside the clock - the mechanism
You can find the new Photo Gallery under the Project menu.
or go directly to it by clicking here:
Are you a subscriber to the Orange County Register? Keep your eyes peeled for an article about the Dreger Clock. The upcoming article is slated to run in the Friday, November 23rd edition. The reporter/writer's name is Michael Mello and it should be in the local news for north county.
link to OC Register Article
We hope this article will really jump-start our project and get the word out to a lot of Orange County residents who will be interested in helping!
A new feature has just been added to the DregerClock.org website which allows the public to post their own memories of the Dreger Clock.
The Dreger Clock has been seen by countless numbers of visitors to Knott's Berry Farm over the past 50 years. There may also be some out there who remember the clock when it stood in its original location on Anaheim Street in Long Beach.
We would love to hear your memories and stories about the clock. If you have a special memory regarding the clock, please send it to us by going to: www.dregerclock.org/community/clockMemories.php
The Orange County Chapter of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (Chapter 69) has invited us to do a 10 to 15 minute presentation about the Dreger Clock to their club at their December 7th, 2007 meeting. We hope to find a number of people interested in helping with the restoration project.
If you would like to attend the meeting, it is open to the public with a $4 general entry fee and $6 for couples. The meeting is held at the Acacia Grove Masonic Lodge located at 11270 Acacia Parkway (in the Civic Center) Garden Grove, CA. Find directions and more information about the Orange County chapter of the NAWCC at: http://www.nawcc69.org.
The news of Dreger Clock restoration project has been getting out on the web in the past few weeks. Thanks to several website owners and bloggers who have posted blog articles about the clock and links to the Dreger Clock site:
* Chris Jepsen wrote about the Dreger Clock in his O.C. History Roundup blog on October 29th. Thanks for the support and the link Chris!
* The Buena Park Library District News blog placed one of our 'Save Some Time' banner graphic links on their blog pages (in the right hand menu column - scroll down a little bit) and we have seen a lot of people coming to the Dreger Clock site from their link! Thank you!
* The City of Buena Park has also placed a link, image and short paragraph about the project on their announcements page. Thank you!
* OCThen.com linked to our site and posted a blog entry that we sent to them about the clock, including a photo of the clock as it looked in front of the ticket booths at Knott's. Thanks!
* The Buena Park Historical Society site has of course linked to us. BPHS is of course the organization that took up the cause of saving the Dreger Clock. Thank you!
* The Santa Ana Historical Preservation Society has placed a link to the Dreger clock site on its links page, under the 'Orange County Historic Locations and Organizations' section. Thanks!
* Thank you to The Cage Page (the old Bird Cage Theatre at Knott's) for placing a paragraph about the clock, our logo, photo and link on their website!
We have talked to several other sites who have told us that they will be placing links to us soon too!
You can help get the word out too, if you manage a website or blog, or know someone who does and might be interested in the clock project. We have a page of copy-and-paste code that can be placed on sites to display a graphical link.
Tonight the Buena Park City Council had the Dreger Clock on its study session agenda. The Historical Society's restoration project was presented to the council and permission was granted to place the Dreger Clock in the city's historical park once restoration work is complete.
Our new website to inform the community about the Dreger Clock restoration project is online.
We have the basics online for now. There is historical information about the clock, an overview of the work needed to complete the project, a way to sign up for email news alerts, banner and link resources for other website and blog owners, and contact and mail in check donation forms.
In the near future we will be adding ways for online donations to be done through the site, a restoration and donation status page, places where visitors can post their own memories and photos of the clock.
If you have not already, go visit www.DregerClock.org .
The Buena Park Historical Society has purchased the Dreger Clock plus 6 months storage at its current location until it can be moved to a location where it can be refurbished.
So for now... the Clock is at least safe and will not "disappear" again.
The BPHS also approved Glenn Frank to head up the project to raise funding for the restoration of the clock.
Estimates on costs to refurbish The Dreger Clock range from $5,000 to get it running and repaint it to $20,000 for a complete dismantling, overhaul, powder coating and reassembly.
the Buena park Historical Society has voted to approve the purchase of the Dreger Clock for the purpose of eventual restoration and public display! Arrangements are being made to contact the seller and arrange the purchase.
Tonight the Board of Trustees of the Buena Park Historical Society was given a presentation about the history of the Dreger Clock up to the present time. (click here to see the presentation slides) The meeting was well attended by the members of the board and the idea to save the clock seemed to be of great interest to everyone there.
We got to go see the clock today in the warehouse where it is being stored. I was able to take a number of photos of it to try to get an idea of its condition.
The Buena Park Historical Society is interested in hearing more about the Dreger Clock and wants to investigate the possibility of buying and restoring it!
With a little searching on the internet today, I found out that the clock was now owned by an antiques dealer and was for sale on eBay! Imagine my surprise to see this piece of my family's history disapear from Knott's, where it had been for 50 years, and turn up for auction on ebay.
I contacted the seller and contacted Long Beach, Buena Park and other local historical organizations to see we together we could acquire the clock and restore it for the public to see again.
I found out later that the Dreger Clock had been missing from its place in front of Knott's ticket booths for possibly as long as a year, but today I first noticed that it was gone.