Centennial Clock dedicated at Greenville’s new football stadium

By Lonnie Allen • Last Updated 2:45 pm on Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Greenville High Class of 1962 members, from left, Ann Corner, Laurel Christensen, Stan Blumberg, Rusty Schlienz, and Dave Wininger stand beside the plaque that depicts the story of Centennial Clock. The class donated the plaque during their 50-year class reunion. — Daily News/Lonnie Allen

GREENVILLE — Monday started a new legacy that was handed down from a community, which began in 1912 at the old Greenville Central Intermediate School with a clock.

Greenville Public Schools Superintendent Pete Haines commenced the dedication of the 100-year-old clock by reversing the revolutions of the clocks hands with his words.

“This is no ordinary dedication,” Haines said, “There will not be a formal ceremony. Instead I am going to tell you a story.”

Haines painted the picture of a community that came together after a devastating fire in 1911. He described a new school built by a district in 1912 from taxpayer bonds. He recognized the class of 1912, which stepped forward then to complete a vision and begin a legacy that endured the hands of time.

Greenville Public Schools Superintendent Pete Haines tells the story of the clock during the clock dedication during the Legacy Field open house Monday. — Daily News/Lonnie Allen

It was the class of 1912 that got the community together by fundraising to donate a clock to the old Greenville Central Intermediate School.

“Guess what? There wasn’t money in the bond just like now,” Haines said. “Isn’t it interesting that exactly 100 years later in 2012 we find ourselves in the same situation without the funds but with a vision of a clock and we found dedication, collaboration and contribution from our neighbors right here in Greenville, that is why we are calling it Centennial Clock.”

Haines thanked the Flat River Historical Museum Board and President Bill Garlick for helping to keep the clock preserved.

“We are so blessed in this community to have the museum board that preserves so much of the history in Greenville,” Haines said. “We are so blessed that they had the foresight in 1977 to save this clock.”

Garlick and Haines thanked Greenville residents Jack Bailey, Carol Lee, Terry Rood and foreign exchange student Miku Aniya for the work on the mural that replaced the clock at the museum.

Haines thanked Builders Glass for their donation of installing the mural in the museum and for moving, storing, installing and donating the glass to protect the clock.

“It is a half-inch piece of glass installed to protect the clock,” Haines said. “We are almost certain Caleb Wolfe is going to put a football right there.”

As the crowd was laughing, Haines finished his story and dedication of Centennial Clock with a final recognition.

“All we needed to do now is find a way to keep telling this story,” Haines said. “Because I am not going to stand on this picnic table once a week and tell this story but we don’t want to lose this piece of our history.”

Greenville residents Jack Bailey and Carol Lee stand in front of the mural that depicts John Green looking out at the land before settling Greenville. It was dedicated Monday at the Flat River Historical Museum. — Daily News/Lonnie Allen

Haines contacted Jeff Marshall, owner of Marshall Funeral Homes and Monument Services in Greenville, to find out the cost of plaque that would preserve the story of Centennial Clock.

The cost was $6,000 for a plaque that size able to document the history Haines wanted to tell. About the same time this was happening, Greenville’s class of 1962 was celebrating their 50th class reunion. The first class to graduate from the current Greenville High School wanted to donate something.

“They approached us and wanting to donate something,” Haines said. “Jeff helped us out and gave it to us for half the price and the class of 1962 made a pledge, ‘We’ll cover it.’”

Greenville resident Stan Blumberg, representing the class of 1962, remembers the email he got about the purchasing the plaque for Greenville.

“We wanted to do something special,” Blumberg said. “Every class can share in this history.”

Blumberg wanted those classes to continue the legacy and approach the school and see what else Legacy Field could use that wasn’t in the budget.

“What a legacy that would be,” Blumberg said. “That is the challenge make this a real legacy.”

Haines entertained the challenge as a gesture geared toward the community.

“It’s about being ours here,” Haines said “Legacy Field is about a vision that is fulfilled when community comes together.”