The Clock Farm

Ephraim Wildes built the farmhouse we now call the The Clock Farm in 1773 near Goose Rocks Beach on land his father Jacob conveyed to him in 1768. Ephraim Wildes soon saw active service in the Revolutionary War. He and his wife Temperance Downing raised a large family there. A descendant, John Wildes, sold the farm to Mariner Peter Johnson in 1841. Johnson sold it to Ivory Smith in 1868 but 13 years later, Peter Johnson’s wife Sarah bought it back. All that time, it was a lovely farm without a clock tower on the barn.

Thomas A. Emmons, a poor neighborhood boy, had always admired it as he walked back and forth to the nearby schoolhouse. The boy’s father, Captain Thomas Emmons had died at the age 35 in 1828 after a voyage on the Schooner Norway out of Saco, leaving his wife and five children in a destitute state. Young Thomas A. Emmons made good, eventually owning the Emmons Loom Harness Company in Lawrence, MA. In 1892, he came back to Kennebunkport and bought the old farm he had so admired as a child.

Emmons renovated the 1773 cape into a summer home and added the clock tower to the barn. The family has passed down the story that a clock in the tower at his Lawrence factory didn’t keep good time. He planned to move the clock to his summer home in Kennebunkport and hired the manufacturer, the Howard Clock Company, to install it. Ultimately, their representative convinced him to purchase a new more expensive Howard Clock which still hangs on the barn today, giving it its nickname The Clock Farm. The landmark was almost lost when the Fire of 1947 burned everything around it but somehow jumped over the beautiful Clock Farm saving it for us to admire. #kennebunkport

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