Historic Lexington clock in tick-tock shape at Concord Museum – Lowell Sun

Historic Lexington clock in tick-tock shape at Concord Museum

COURTESY CONCORD MUSEUM
A new case for the Buckman Tavern clock has been fashioned by Concord Museum trustee Bill Huyett. The clock which stood at Buckman Tavern, where local militiamen awaited the British Regulars after the ride of Paul Rever, was donated to Concord Museum.

CONCORD — After Paul Revere’s famed midnight warning on April 18, 1775, Lexington militiamen spent several hours in Buckman Tavern on Lexington Common hearing the tavern clock tick the hours away before the arrival of the British Regulars.

The historically significant Buckman Tavern clock and dial was donated to Concord Museum in 1975, but it lacked a case — until last week.

Bill Huyett, a Concord craftsman, trustee, and longtime supporter of the museum, has breathed new life into the nationally renowned artifact by replicating the clock’s case, which will soon be a centerpiece in the Concord Museum’s new April 19th, 1775 Gallery.

At dawn, Maj. John Pitcairn’s advance company of Regulars encountered Capt. John Parker’s Provincial militia on Lexington Common. Despite orders on both sides not to engage, a shot rang out. In response, the Regulars opened fire. Seconds later, eight Provincials lay dead, sparking the beginning of the American Revolution.

“About half of Captain Parker’s militia company waited in Buckman’s Tavern in the hours before dawn on April 19, 1775, where this clock ticked the seconds and struck the hours, said David Wood, Concord Museum’s curator.

The clock, which is engraved with the Buckman name, was made by Nathaniel Mulliken of Lexington in 1769; the Mulliken Shop was burned by the Regulars on April 19, 1775.

The new clock case is closely based on one particular contemporary Nathaniel Mulliken clock in a private collection, Wood said, but Huyett also closely examined an example at Old Sturbridge Village to be able to make period-appropriate decisions in the fabrication.

As “a result, the case is actually Huyett’s original design,” Wood said.

Built of cherry and pine, the case features robust moldings made with custom-fabricated router bits and was a year in the making.

“The case will house the Buckman clock movement, which will be ticking and striking the hours in the new April 19, 1775 Gallery,” Wood said.

Concord Museum’s April 19th Gallery, which is part of the New Museum Experience is slated to open in October. The new gallery is funded in part by the National Endowment of the Humanities.

Buckman Tavern is a historic American Revolutionary War site associated with the Revolution’s first battle, the 1775 Battle of Lexington and Concord. It is located on the Battle Green in Lexington and operated by the Lexington Historical Society. For more information, visit www.lexingtonhistory.org.