The Ferry Clock Restoration Project -- the Essence of Community

[scrollGallery id=209] Kate and I had the good fortune on Sunday afternoon to be present at the unveiling of the restored 1935 Captain Anderson Ferry Clock in downtown Kirkland. It was quite an event attended by dignitaries, media, merchants, neighbors and passersby. It was one of those moments which exemplifies what a wonderful sense of community we enjoy here in Kirkland. For those who missed it, let me explain.

Blue skies and smiling faces.

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As I looked over the crowd which gathered at the corner of Lake Street and Kirkland Ave to witness the unveiling of the restored Ferry Clock, it dawned on me what a special event this was. The young and the old, standing side by side, to witness a piece of Kirkland's past being protected, cherished and revered. A dozen descendants of Captain Anderson were on hand to unveil the clock. Elected officials joined Sue Contreras, the force of will behind the project, on a makeshift stage to mark the event. Stories were told of the long process which raised $12,000, largely of citizen contributions.

The scene was a generational reunion of sorts, spanning eight decades.

Dick and Pat Shinstrom were on hand, with their customary warm smiles and a story to share, reminiscing of the Kirkland of yesteryear. Pat shared a story of how as a child, she used to ride on the ferries which crisscrossed the lake in the pre-war era. Also on hand were Matt McCauley, Loita Hawkinson, Bob Burke and many others passionate about the history of Kirkland, giving of their time and expertise for the project. Cameron McCauley, Matt's youngest son, helped pass out the clock-shaped cookies to the crowd of several dozen. Mark Padgett of Public Works, always prepared, climbed the ladder to release the shroud covering the clock. Mark was instrumental in the project from start to finish. So too were a dozen more folks, all lead by Sue Contreras, the engine pulling this train. Sue's sense of community, enthusiasm and unbridled energy are infectious. She knows how to inspire others toward a common goal, and without her leadership, the hands on the Ferry Clock would still be stuck at 1:33.

Dick and Pat Shinstom at Ferry Clock unveiling.

The Ferry Clock was a gift to the City of Kirkland by Ferry Captain Anderson way back in 1935. Over the many years it has been repaired, patched and repainted. The work to restore the clock to its original condition was a testament of a love for our past and a love for our community. The crowds gathered around the clock on Sunday were there to witness and to recognize the hard work of so many. And the were there to say thank you to the many hands it takes to build a strong and vibrant community.

Kirkland is a very special place. We are fortunate to live here and to call this home.

Thank you to all who had a hand in restoring the Ferry Clock.


Photo by Matt McCauley

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