Keeping tradition, 
and time, in the family

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Last modified: Monday, December 28, 2015
When Bob Fogg Jr. was small, he watched his father push the nearly 500-pound lever as he wound the town clock. “When you retire Dad, I’ll take over,” the boy once said.

“I put that in the back of my head,” said Bob Sr. “Fifty years later, he’s finally going to get the chance.”

Fogg Sr., 77, will resign as Hancock’s Agent for the Town Clock at the start of the new year, handing the responsibilities over to his son.

The Agent for the Town Clock is responsible for maintaining the 144-year-old town clock housed at the top of the meetinghouse, in addition to the Revere and Son bell above it. The clock must be manually reset each week. Fogg Sr. climbs the stairs from the meetinghouse to the clock room, attaches the lever to the gears, and winds the clock 168 times.

In the half-century Fogg Sr. has held the position, he has never considered it a chore. In fact, it’s become a part of who he is.

Fogg Sr. is devoted to ensuring the clock tells perfect time. He wears an atomic watch to set the town clock, and glances at it whenever he hears the clock strike the hour. He keeps the clock room and the attic that leads up to it spotless. And he can diagnose a problem just by listening to the clock tick.

Fogg Sr. takes as much pride showing off this marvel to the public. He has led hundreds of visitors up to the clock room, covered in outdated amber-colored wallpaper, and even stores a guest book there on a wooden podium he built.

Fogg Sr. doesn’t look his age. His skin is smooth, and his muscles are well-defined. Yet, climbing the stairs and winding the clock isn’t nearly as easy as it was when he was 27. He and his son agreed that once he reached the 50-year milestone, he would turn the position over to his son.

Fogg Jr., 54, with his broad shoulders, stocky frame and large mustache, cares just as much about the clock as his father does. He inherited his father’s habit of glancing at his wristwatch whenever he hears the bell ring. And he taps his foot along to the ticking of the clock like a musician does with a metronome.

Fogg Jr. knows he has big shoes to fill, which is why he isn’t taking over the whole job just yet. He plans to have his father continue giving tours.

“He loved doing that for the town. He would have done that all those years for nothing,” said Fogg Jr., specifically referring to the $700 year stipend. “He loves the town of Hancock.”

Benji Rosen can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 228, or brosen@ledgertranscript.com.

Follow him on Twitter @BenjiRosenMLT.