September 3, 2015
The Montgomery County Historical Society Clock Tower Committee is looking for young singers to compete in the first-ever Montgomery County American Idol Contest. Students in sixth grade through high school are being asked to participate in the event which is designed to help raise funds for the installation of a clock tower at the courthouse.
The event, scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 17, will take place at Crawfordsville High School’s auditorium.
Each audience member will have one vote to select the winner.
Sandra Lofland-Brown, committee chairperson, hopes the event will put the clock tower project back into the minds of citizens.
“We thought we could get the courthouse project back out in front of the public,” Lofland-Brown said. “The more we put the courthouse in front of the public, the quicker we can raise the funds to complete the project to restore the clock tower to the courthouse.”
Contestants must reside in Montgomery County, and can register now by calling Lofland-Brown at 765-918-6045. There is an audition scheduled at 7 p.m. Oct. 5 at the Vanity Theater.
Included in the event will be a live auction. Items also are being solicited for the auction. These will be on display at Joe Sadowski’s building at 107. E. Main St.
Efforts to restore the courthouse clock tower have been ongoing for 20 years. In October 2014 organizers received a major boost when both the City of Crawfordsville and Montgomery County Council agreed to help with funding.
At that time it also was announced that a structural engineering study was necessary to make sure the clock tower could be placed on the courthouse roof. The study has been completed, and it has been determined some steel beams need to be added to the courthouse structure to help support the new clock tower. The additional work is the reason the committee has reignited their fundraising push.
The clock tower was removed in 1941.
Mayor Todd Barton said in October 2014 he believes restoring the clock tower is a part of his vision for making downtown special again.
“I committed to this project early because I was hoping the county would get on board,” Barton said. “The courthouse is a centerpiece for our downtown.”
Lofland-Brown said her goal to have the clock tower restored by Indiana’s Bicentennial Year of 2016 is still obtainable, but time is running out.
“We are going to need the people’s help to get this done,” Lofland-Brown said. “We have a goal to have the new tower up during Indiana’s Bicentennial Celebration. To get it done we will need donations as soon as possible.”