Estacada clockmakers practice social distancing during pandemic
The one establishment in the world to create the clock that tracks sunrise and sunset in real time has settled into its new headquarters in downtown Estacada.
Formerly located in Oregon City, Geochron completed its move to 365 S. Broadway St. at the end of February.
When the clock was created in 1965, the Geochron was the only way to see the sunrise and sunset on Earth as they occurred. Among other locations, there is one in the White House Situation Room.
The clock, which resembles a framed world map, shows the moment of sunrise, moment of sunset, duration of daylight, sun's meridian passage, sun's equation of time, legal time zones, Greenwich mean time, Greenwich apparent time, local apparent time and degrees of latitude and longitude.
Today, both mechanical and digital models are available. Company owner Patrick Bolan noted that the digital option is the more popular one.
"We don't make very many new (mechanical) clocks, but we restore a lot of clocks that come from all over the place," he said.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the company's three employees who create the digital products are working from home, and the three who work on the mechanical offerings are wearing face masks and staying six feet apart from one another at the Estacada location.
Eventually, Bolan plans to rent out the front 600 square feet of the shop to a retailer, while the company occupies the back 2,000 square feet themselves.
Prior to Bolan's purchase of the building, it was empty. Last year, the company received a grant from the Estacada Urban Renewal Agency for a remodel.
"I really am glad that I was able to find some affordable commercially zoned property that we could live in," Bolan said. "This store has totally saved the day. When we arrived, the city of Estacada was happy to have us."
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