Key Bank Plaza

200 Washington Street

Circa 1860

When they were first installed town clocks often in central locations, on a church tower like the First Baptist Church or Watertown National Bank, provided the community with a dependable standard so meetings, businesses opening and closing, arrival and departure of trains could function. An agricultural economy can operate based on sun rising and setting.

In the 1860s at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution it was increasingly important to have dependable and public means of determining the time because banks, commerce in general and particularly railroads required it. Railroads could not operate without people often hundreds of miles, apart being able to agree on the time. The telegraph was used to coordinate the clocks.

In Watertown the First Baptist Church and Watertown National Bank on opposite ends of the Public Square had public clocks. “Watertown National Bank at 200 Washington Street in Watertown, New York was known as The Bank With The Clock.”
To read the article by Amy Farber go to:

Key Bank Clock includes a sundial and a plaque with instructions for reading the time in different seasons. Years ago “Meet me at the clock” was a common request, demonstrating how important the clock was to civic life.