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Time Heals: Blackstone Manor Clock Repair Restores Well-Loved Timepieces

The Hopkins Business and Civic Association named Blackstone Manor its 2010 business of the year.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

A hundred timepieces count away the seconds. Each clock’s pendulum marks the moments in its own rhythm—more chorus than metronome.

That they tick at all is something of a miracle. Owner Mark Purdy has restored clocks dating back to the 1700s—their bodies inside blackened with age.

Purdy fits the part of a clock repairman. The soft-spoken man has graying hair, glasses, a blue apron and magnifying lenses he can pull down in front of his eyes to better see the miniscule gears he pieces together just so.

The profession is an acquired one, not something Purdy was born into. His brother started a jewelry store in Jamestown, N.D., that also did clock repair. Purdy started repairing clocks himself in 1991 and continued the work after his brother left the business. He opened Blackstone Manor in 2008—naming the company after a fixer-upper of a home he’d ironically christened with the same grand name.

Purdy devotes the same care and attention to his store as he did to that aging home—a fact recognized earlier this month when the Hopkins Business and Civic Association named Blackstone Manor its 2010 business of the year. Customers visit Hopkins from across the metro to have their clocks repaired at Purdy’s store, and each afternoon Purdy travels across the metro to repair clocks in people’s homes. For those without clocks, the store’s window has become a Mainstreet fixture. Passersby stop to peer at the museum pieces still ticking away.

“Being on Mainstreet Hopkins has been absolutely fabulous for our business,” Purdy says. “The small-town feel and the walking traffic have been fabulous.”

Blackstone Manor also repairs music boxes and other delicate pieces that require a fine touch. But the focus has always been on the clocks—old and new, common and rare. Sometimes the repairs cost more than the clock could fetch if it were sold. But that’s not the point. The pieces have emotional value far beyond their price tags.

“There’s a lot of attachment to the clocks,” said Blackstone clock repairman Joff Simmons. “(Customers) can’t wait to get it home. They’re thrilled that it’s up and running. Obviously there’s a variety of reactions, but mostly they’re just excited because it’s now working.”

The individual beats of the timepieces in Purdy’s store are the strongest testament to this—each move of a pendulum speaking to the care that the repairmen have lavished upon the clocks.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

Nonnie February 26, 2011 at 04:31 PM
I have an old military clock of my fathers that needs repair. My first thought while reading this article was, where is it located?? Outside of now knowing that it is located on Mainstreet, there is no mention of the address............
James Warden (Editor) February 26, 2011 at 09:37 PM
The address is 815 Mainstreet. In most Patch articles about a business, the business is located on a map with the article. You can see it here just to the right of the video. You can also see the address in the box that reads 'In this article." If you click on that link, you can see more details about the business—hours, payments accepted, etc. That same page shows you other articles written about the business, in this case an article about Blackstone Manor's winning a window-decorating contest. We try to provide you as many tools as possible to help you find what you want to know. Or to share what you already know. On articles and business listings, you're also able to share photos and your thoughts. Care to upload a photo of the old military clock?

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