In the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in 2018, the Old Bank Clock that once hung at the corner of Harrison Avenue and Beach Drive, and later at Harrison and Seventh, was badly damaged.
It had been the icon of the downtown business district since 1926, when it was installed on the First National Bank building at Beach Drive and Harrison Avenue.
In 2019, it was about to be demolished in the renovations at the bank building. That is when Kevin Wattenbarger, realtor, stepped in, saw what was about to happen, and told the wrecking crew that, “You can’t do that, this is historic!”
He contacted Rebecca Saunders, custodian of the Bay County History Museum, who in turn contacted Bob Hurst, vice president of the Historical Society of Bay County (and this columnist). Sun Trust assured Wattenbarger and the Historical Society that they could have it.