Lord & Goddard Rutland, Vermont. No. 112. An inlaid cherry case tall clock.

This is a wonderful inlaid cherry case tall clock having a painted dial signed by the Rutland, Vermont partnership of Lord & Goddard. The case form is typical of what one would expect having a style that is very similar in form to the high style New York and New Jersey cases of the same period. This case is constructed in cherry and features decorative holly wood inlay patterns and mahogany highlights. This clock has a long family history that accompanies it it is the Barker / Barrett family clock.

This fine inlaid cherry case stands on French feet that that have been slightly compromised in their original height. These are mounted to a molding that is applied to the bottom of the case. The base panel features two vertically positioned inlaid mahogany oval panels that are framed with thin line inlays. The waist is section is long. The center is fitted with a rectangular door. An applied molding gives the door some depth. In the center of this door is an additional inlaid oval. The mahogany veneer used in these ovals exhibits a good grain pattern. Fully turned and fluted columns are inset into the corners of the waist. These are mounted in turned wooden capitals. A checkered rope or a barber pole inlay pattern trims the rest of this outside edge. This is a nice subtle detail that is difficult to pick up in the photographs. The bonnet or hood features a swan’s neck pediment. The horns are delicately formed and terminate in inlaid pinwheels. In the front facade, one will find an additional oval inlaid in the center. Three brass ball and spiked finials surmount this case. The two located on the outside of the case are mounted on reeded plinths. TFluted bonnet columns flank the arched bonnet door. This door is also line inlaid.

The painted dial is mounted to the movement with a false plate. The spandrel areas are decorated with fanciful gesso patterns that help highlight the colorfully painted florals themes. This dial is boldly signed by the clockmakers. The time track is formatted in the traditional Roman numerals marking the hours and Arabic numerals are used for each of the five minute markers. A calendar and seconds bit are in the traditional locations. A moon phase mechanism or lunar calendar is located in the arch.

This fine movement is constructed in brass and is good quality. Four turned pillars support the two brass plates. Hardened steel shafts support the polished steel pinions and brass gearing. The winding drums are grooved. The escapement is designed as a recoil format. The movement is weight driven and designed to run eight days on a full wind. It is a two train or a time and strike design having a rack and snail striking system. As a result, it will strike each hour on the hour. This is done on a cast iron bell which is mounted above the movement. The hammer is returned to it’s ready position via a coil spring. This movement is good quality.

A number of tall case clocks have been found signed by the Lord & Goddard partnership. Some of the following numbers recorded include 72, 75, 87, 95, 97, 98, 111. 112 and 113.

This clock stands approximately 92 inches tall. It was made circa 1806.

The following information was provided by the family of the clock. I have edited some of the information.

This clock was originally acquired by Eastus Barker, according to his granddaughter Flora B. in 1819. He was born in Tinmouth, VT May 23, 1766, and married Mabel Thompson of Wallingford, CT.

Stephen and Eliza Barrett operated a farm in Middletown Springs, VT. Stephen died in 1864 and Eliza and son Fredric continued operating it until March of 1873, when its contents were auctioned off. Eliza died in 1876. Son Fred B. Barrett married Mary Adams Warner (b. Pawlet, VT January 5, 1857) in 1877, and they bought a mercantile in Middletown Springs from Mr. M.E. Vail. In 1885 they moved the business to a four-story brick building known as the Joslin Block or Goodrich Hall, on Main Street, a block from the village’s Delaware & Hudson R.R. train station in Poultney, VT where it was said to have been the largest dry goods/general store between the Albany/Troy, NY area and Burlington, VT.

The store held a dance hall, lumber barn, feed stall, ice house (with ice cut from Lake Saint Catherine by its own crews), a barber/beauty salon, on-site butcher, clothing and millinery, in addition to being a general dry goods and food store. The store flourished, enabling Fred B. and Mary to acquire the big (21-room) “white house” on the hill, at Three Beaman Street in 1902. Fred B. and Mary (Warner) Barrett had one son, Fred Warner, born in 1883 in Middletown Springs. Fred W. graduated from Troy Conference Academy (pre-cursor to what is now Green Mountain College) in Poultney, working in the family store while not in school, then attended Syracuse University. He had just graduated from Syracuse University, when both parents died in 1907, Mary on July 7th, and Fredric on August15th. He took over ownership/management of the store, and married Anna Clara DeYoe on August 26th, 1908, after her graduation from Syracuse.

It appears that Eastus and Mabel Barker passed he clock on to their daughter, Eliza and she directed it go to her daughter Flora, Fred B.‘s sister. (Eliza was Stephen Barrett’s third wife, the prior two were deceased.) The first recorded mention of the clock in our family records was in Flora B. (Barker) Cook’s (Fred B.‘s sister, see above) Last Will & Testament, probated in the town of Sandwich, County of DeKalb, in Illinois, upon her death on April 6, 1915. Flora (Barker) Cook’s will directed the distribution of her estate and that she be buried in the local Oak Ridge Cemetery, in the plot “owned by the R.C. Cook Estate.” She provided for various possessions to be given to “Willard B. Strong, Fred Barrett and Clara Barrett.” The will’s Article Seven reads “I give and bequeath to Fred Barrett my tall Eight Day Clock, that was grandfather Barker’s (i.e. Eastus’) in 1819, and one of my solid silver spoons marked “M.B.” (Mabel Barker) and E.B.” (Eastus Barker)” … and various other possession … to Fred.

So it came back to the Barretts via Flora (Barker) Cook who, with her second husband, Rollin C. Cook, wound up in Illinois, and lived to age 69, presumably predeceased by Mr. Cook, her second husband.

So the clock returned to Vermont to my grandfather, Fred W. Barrett in 1915. It occupied a spot in the front entryway of the “White House.” I remember my brother, our cousins, or me often ceremoniously winding it during every summer. We used to summer on Pine Point on Lake St. Catherine or holiday visit in the late ’40s/early ’50s. Then #112 passed to his wife, my grandmother.

(I have ommitted the tree of ownership from this point forward to protect the living family.)

An early 1900 photo of the clock exsists that shows this clock at the Holiday Open House Party. It is shown in the invitation in the entry foyer of the Barrett house located at Three Beaman Street, Poultney. It is standing next to an antique Windsor chair, which the family still owns. The 21-room house was built in 1808 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. After long service as, first, a home and Poultney’s bank, the home spent more than a half century in the Barrett family. Upon Fred W.‘s death, it was sold to the town’s physician, Dr. Paul Swinyer, who lived in it as well as hosted his practice. It was later sold to a family that operated it as a bed and breakfast, The Stonebridge Inn. We have a photo of my family, aunts, uncles and cousins on its front porch after a family reunion held there in the summer of 1988. In 1996 it suffered serious fire damage. In time, the Town of Poultney restored it and it now is the Poultney Community Center.

About Lord & Goddard of Rutland, Vermont.

The partnership of Lord & Goddard was first advertised in July 1997. Their shop was located a few rods north of the Rutland Court House just opposite Messrs Pomeroy & Hooker’s store. At this location they advertised the manufacture of musical clocks and most kinds of gold and silverware. (Rutland Herald 7-3-1797.) The shop was moved in 1800 to the shop formerly occupied by Storer & Wilmont. This shop was located approximately 15 rods northwest from the Court House. Lord & Goddard’s partnership lasted approximately eight years and was dissolved on April 26th, 1805. A notice was placed in the Rutland Herald on this date. It appears they stayed close friends as their families remained close and involved with each other.

The tall case clocks that have been found signed by Lord & Goddard have the following numbers recorded…. 72, 75, 87, 95, 97, 98, 106, 111 and 113. Tall clocks signed by Nichols only include 124, 125, 144 and 150.

Benjamin Lord was born in Norwich, Connecticut on October 10, 1770 the son of Ebenezer and Temperance (Edgerton). He is first listed as a silversmith in 1793 when he advertised in the Western Star in Pittsfield, Massachusetts opposite the meeting house on the road to Lanesborough in 1796. It is recorded that in 1797, Benjamin moved into Rutland, Vermont and with in a few short months has formed a partnership with Nichols Goddard. Benjamin married Fanny Buel on January 28, 1799 in Convetry, Connecticut. Together, they had at least six children while putting roots down in this town. He becomes involved with public affairs and serves as town clerk in 1803 – 1813 and again in 1815 – 1826. He was a Captain in the local militia. In 1808, he is thought to have trained his nephew John Bliss as a clockmaker. Bliss becomes a well documented chronomometer maker in New York. Benjamin died on April 23, 1843 in Athens, Georgia.

Nichols Goddard was born the son of Nathan and Martha (Nichols) Goddard in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts on October 4, 1773. It is thought that he learned clockmaking from his second cousin Luther Goddard who was also in Shrewsbury. Luther was trained by his cousin, our country’s most famous clockmaker, Simon Willard of Grafton in 1778. Luther is often credited with making the first watch in America. Nichols is listed as working in Northampton, Massachusetts in 1794 through 1797. A diary entry from 1795 states that as a journeyman, Nichols made movements for his father Luther Goddard, Gardner Parker of Westborough, Isaac Gere of Northampton, MA and for a man identified as “Ingalls” who is also in Northhampton. In June of 1797, Goddard moves north to Rutland, Vermont. At this time, the period of 1770 through about 1825, the state of Vermont enjoyed unprecedented population growth. It is in Rutland that Goddard formed a partnership with a silversmith who was originally from Norwich, Connecticut and more recently Pittsfield, Massachusetts. His name was Benjamin Lord. In September of 1798, Nichols returned to Northampton to marry Charity White. She was the daughter of Job White and Charity Chapin. They returned to Rutland and had seven children together. After their partnership ended, Nichols continued to make clocks under his own name until he died in 1823.

Nichols involves himself in public affairs. In 1800 he is appointed Town Clerk of Rutland. He also serves as Town Treasurer from 1805 – 1807. He received the commission of Captain in the militia. He was also very active in the Masonic lodge. In 1802 he was elected Grand Junior Deacon of the Grand Masonic Lodge of Vermont and in 1804 through 1810 he served as Grand Senior Warden.

Nichols died in Rutland on September 23, 1823.


For more information about this clock click  here .