LEWISTON — Greg Caron tries to imagine the history that happened beneath the mammoth clock that sits on a pair of columns in his Winthrop, N.Y., living room.
The 7-foot-long clock spent 44 years inside Lewiston’s Maine Central Railroad station, ticking away the moments for many arrivals and departures.
“Do you know how many people stared up at that clock nervously in a million different ways?” he asked. “There were caskets coming home from war and young men waiting for their brides. That’s life. That’s the heart of it all.”
It’s a history he wants to learn about more.
Caron, a retired convenience store owner, is hoping to gather photos from the station that may include the clock, which was once perched above the doors in the waiting room.
And he’s hoping the clock may return to the station, which was extensively renovated and reopened in 2010 as the Royal Oak Room at 1 Bates St.
A return won’t be cheap, though.
The clock was built by E. Howard & Co., a top clock manufacturer in Boston. Caron purchased it from a New Hampshire seller in August for $15,000.
He’d like to give it to Bob Roy, who owns the Royal Oak Room. And Roy would like to have it.
“I think it belongs here,” Roy said.
But after making a sizable investment to renovate the former train station — the venue is scheduled to host Gov. Paul LePage and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie later this month — Roy said Friday that he’s not sure if he could meet Caron’s best price.
For now, it would have to return as a gift, he said.
“If you’d like to buy it for me, I’d be more than happy to put your name on it,” Roy said.
Caron said he’s not sure what his best price might be. For now, he said he’d rather ignore the money — “the dirty part of the business” — and learn about the clock’s history.
He has sold an 18th-century American flag and a tower clock that was nearly as old. He said he is drawn to old objects that might have a story to tell.
The back of the clock makes reference to its installation in 1916 and its removal in 1960, he said.
“It was up there for generations,” he said. “It has a lot of stories to tell.”
Anyone with pictures of the clock is encouraged to contact Caron at [email protected]