Winona community breaks ground for historical clock tower on Mainstreet

WINONA, Miss. ( WCBI) – It’s a project that has been in the works for over a decade now.

The city of Winona broke ground for its historic clock tower today.

COVID-19 and cost increases stopped the clock on the $400,000 project but things are back on track.
What’s going up in Winona is more than just a clock.

The project represents pieces of the past and present.

Mississippi State Senate Lydia Chassaniol said this step is just the beginning of what to expect for the future.

“When small towns like Winona come together for a project like this the clock tower represents a lot of what the past is. That there was a downtown area that was thriving. Over the years, like many small towns, we have lost many businesses. We’re hoping by putting this clock tower right downtown it’s going to remind people of the importance of small town Mississippi and the downtown area,” said Chassaniol.

The historic clock tower was the central feature of the Montgomery county court house when it was built in 1903.

In 1976, the courthouse was torn down. The clock was sold and ended up in a mall in Wisconsin.

Nearly 40 years later, a group of Winona residents decided it was time to bring the clock back home.

Secretary of the historical clock committee Matt Bennett explained how the town was able to bring the clock back to its rightful place.

“In 2010 local residents found out they were going to tear the mall down and efforts began to get the clock back home.
Then, Mayor Jeffrey Flowers approached the board of alderman and they approved him negotiating a price and local residents raised the money to buy the clock back,” said Bennett.

With the clock back home, people wanted to give it a prominent place in the city once again.

Plans were put in place, but the COVID-19 pandemic increased the price of materials. That sent the design team back to the drawing board.

“It will be lovely. It’s going to be a roundabout which will make it so when people come downtown they will literally have to look at the clock tower to go around it,” said Chassaniol.

One thing is for certain.

This clock is the first strike into the future.

“For us as the clock committee, we see this as a way to revitalize downtown Winona and bring business back downtown to beautify this area. We really hope this clock tower will be a catalyst for transformation downtown Winona and throughout the city of Winona, ” said Bennett.

With the groundbreaking, the clock is running to get the project finished.

Senator Chassaniol says work is expected to take a few months, and she invites everyone to come to watch the progress and see the finished product.

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