Sunday, May 28, 2023

A Temporary Silence

Those who are accustomed to hearing the bell of the First Presbyterian Church tolling the hours have probably noticed that the clock has been silent for the past few days. Gossips' investigation has found that, unlike what happened a couple of years ago, the silence this time is only temporary.

Back in 2021, the clock was deliberately silenced by Kathryn Beilke, then pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, because a resident living in close proximity to the church complained that the bell was keeping her awake at night. Because the clock in the church tower is the city clock, a tradition dating from 1801, when the First Presbyterian Church was located at Partition and Second streets, the decision to silence the bell was not Beilke's to make, and because the people calling for the return of the bell tolling the hours far outnumbered the one person complaining, the tolling of the hours resumed. 

The situation today is different from what happened in 2021. The clock, although keeping time, is not tolling the hours because of a mechanical issue with one of the pulleys. (The current clock dates from 1913.) Rob Perry, superintendent of the Department of Public Works, told Gossips that a clocksmith has been contacted to fix the problem and allow the tolling of the hours to resume.


  1. Y-a-a-y! The church bells are a city tradition and should be part of the 'soundscape' - just like the train whistles. Thank you Rob Perry for addressing this issue. And, thank you, Carole, for keeping us posted.

  2. Thanks for letting us know - shocking how much I rely on them!

  3. That clock keeps the time of the hearts of Hudson's citizens......old, new and anytimers.....I can still remember it waking me up, long ago. I hated it then, love it now. So glad you keep an eye on that incredible element of Hudson's culture and landscape Carole. Thank you so much.