The Kirtley Tower reached Montgomery County at long last Monday, more than three decades after the first steps were taken to bring the sound of clock chimes back to downtown Crawfordsville.
Members of the tower’s longtime fundraising group, staff from the Montgomery County Visitors and Convention Bureau and local photographers watched as a semi-trailer carrying the clock made the tight turn into the Montgomery County Courthouse parking lot. Another truck hauling sections of the tower followed behind.
Crews are assembling the pieces in the parking lot, which will be closed until the tower is installed Thursday, weather-permitting.
As the trucks made their way along Interstate 74 to Crawfordsville, Sandra Lofland-Brown sat anxiously in the courthouse plaza, getting updates from the road on her phone. She has been the driving force behind the committee.
“I feel like a little girl waiting on Christmas morning,” Lofland-Brown said.
After more than 20 years of raising funds, construction of the tower began in November at Campbellsville Industries in Kentucky.
The tower is named for Dr. J. Marion Kirtley, a respected local physician and politician who first began raising money to restore the landmark in the 1980s. Kirtley died in 2000.
“He would be so excited,” said Jean Chadwick, one of the committee’s original members. “He would be so proud of Sandy and everyone in the county.”
The tower weighs a fraction of the first one, which was demolished in 1941. It will officially be dedicated during a ceremony June 17.
Money is still being raised to finish paying for the project. Send tax-deductible donations to the Montgomery County Historical Society Tower Fund, 1449 W. U.S. 136, Crawfordsville, IN 47933.