The Nels Johnson Clock Tower
The Nels Johnson Century Clock was installed in 1905. There is a photographic display of it’s workings in the narthex. The bell weighs a ton and a half, and is suspended from a frame. It does not swing but rings when struck when struck by a 90lb hammer.
In bold relief on the side of the bell, it reads: “Presented to the First Congregational Church of Manistee By His Daughters in Loving Memory of Their Father, John Canfield, A.D. 1905.”
Nels Johnson was a fanatic about “perfect time” and climbed the tower regularly to check the clock. He pencilled notes on the wall of the clock housing stating the condition of the instrument. On one visit he wrote, “Today is my 75th Birthday”.
The clock is wound weekly by volunteers, who climb the 129 steps from the ground to the top.