The clock has been previously damaged by box trucks parking illegally near the curb. Credit: Newsday

The headless clock on Main Street sticks out like a sore thumb; at least, to anyone who knows what’s missing.

The Greater Sayville Chamber of Commerce, which owns and maintains the clock, is working with the Town of Islip to move the post just a few feet in from the curb. The chamber has ordered a full replacement for the iconic landmark that has graced the hamlet’s streets for decades, with hopes to install it by September, after a box truck knocked the clock to the sidewalk, damaging it beyond repair.

It’s the second time in as many years that the clock, standing at 15½ feet high, has been damaged by box trucks parking illegally along the nearby curb, hitting the top of the clock as they leave, chamber president Eileen Tyznar said. 

“Nobody wants it moved to another spot because it started out there many, many, many years ago. It’s a staple,” Tyznar said. “But the Town of Islip said that they are going to help move it in” a few feet farther from the road.

The chamber also wants to place a larger no parking sign near the clock, she said.

A Town of Islip spokeswoman, Caroline Smith, confirmed the town is working with the chamber to help “find a more appropriate location for the treasured clock tower to ensure it can be enjoyed for years to come.”

There were more than 20 crashes at the intersections closest to the clock between 2019 and 2022, with eight crashes on or near West Main Street and Candee Avenue, and 13 crashes on or near West Main Street and Gillette Avenue, according to data from the state Department of Transportation.

The top of the clock was hit in August 2019, just before Summerfest, and — delayed by the pandemic — replaced in November 2022, Tyznar said. The clock was hit again in August 2023, the day before Summerfest, the annual summer festival the chamber hosts that features craft and food vendors, rides and attractions, and live entertainment.

Box trucks in particular have caused damage, she said, because when the trucks “pull quickly from the corner, the top part sways and always hits the top” of the clock. 

In the 2019 incident, caught on local camera footage, the driver's insurance covered costs to replace the top of the clock, which cost nearly $13,500. 

This year, the chamber hopes to replace the clock by September, although Tyznar said the timeline isn’t definite.

“That’s what I’m aiming for,” Tyznar said.

Customers in Hammer and Stain, the closest business to the clock, heard the glass shatter when it fell.

“We didn’t see anything. We heard it. And we had camp in here, and it had just shattered everywhere, so all of our kids, that’s all they wanted to do for the next two hours, was go to the window and watch,” said Sandra Bernius, owner of the crafting store.

Michael Lofaro, an employee at Sayville Running Company who flagged down the driver, said, "It's definitely cool that they're going to be able to get the clock back up. From what I've heard, it's a piece of history in Sayville." 

Tyznar said the green and gold-trimmed clock also is the Sayville chamber’s logo. As chamber president, people have gifted her multiple artistic renditions of the clock, such as paintings and even a crystal model.

The Sayville chamber is ordering a replica of the clock from Electric Time Co. in Massachusetts, which custom manufactures tower clocks, building clocks and post clocks. The replacement will cost just over $18,000 and is covered by the company insurance of the truck driver.

A spokeswoman for Electric Time, Brandie Morris, said post clocks provide "a focal point" for communities and, besides "being an attractive architectural product," offer value through "their signage and telling time."

The clock in Sayville, cast in aluminum, is a historical replica of the E. Howard 2 Dial Post Clock manufactured around the early 1900s, she said. 

According to historic news reports, the Sayville clock was installed in 1929 by H.L. Terry and Sons Jewelers and reinstalled in 1939 by the McLintock Co. of Poughkeepsie after the original was destroyed by a milk truck.

The clock needed further repairs throughout the 20th century after it was struck by trucks at least three times, and it was replaced again in 2003, news reports say.

With Arielle Martinez and Caroline Curtin

The headless clock on Main Street sticks out like a sore thumb; at least, to anyone who knows what’s missing.

The Greater Sayville Chamber of Commerce, which owns and maintains the clock, is working with the Town of Islip to move the post just a few feet in from the curb. The chamber has ordered a full replacement for the iconic landmark that has graced the hamlet’s streets for decades, with hopes to install it by September, after a box truck knocked the clock to the sidewalk, damaging it beyond repair.

It’s the second time in as many years that the clock, standing at 15½ feet high, has been damaged by box trucks parking illegally along the nearby curb, hitting the top of the clock as they leave, chamber president Eileen Tyznar said. 

“Nobody wants it moved to another spot because it started out there many, many, many years ago. It’s a staple,” Tyznar said. “But the Town of Islip said that they are going to help move it in” a few feet farther from the road.

The chamber also wants to place a larger no parking sign near the clock, she said.

The Sayville Chamber of Commerce is ordering a replica of...

The Sayville Chamber of Commerce is ordering a replica of the iconic clock, seen on Main Street on Feb. 6, 2011. Credit: Newsday/Erin Geismar

A Town of Islip spokeswoman, Caroline Smith, confirmed the town is working with the chamber to help “find a more appropriate location for the treasured clock tower to ensure it can be enjoyed for years to come.”

There were more than 20 crashes at the intersections closest to the clock between 2019 and 2022, with eight crashes on or near West Main Street and Candee Avenue, and 13 crashes on or near West Main Street and Gillette Avenue, according to data from the state Department of Transportation.

The top of the clock was hit in August 2019, just before Summerfest, and — delayed by the pandemic — replaced in November 2022, Tyznar said. The clock was hit again in August 2023, the day before Summerfest, the annual summer festival the chamber hosts that features craft and food vendors, rides and attractions, and live entertainment.

Box trucks in particular have caused damage, she said, because when the trucks “pull quickly from the corner, the top part sways and always hits the top” of the clock. 

In the 2019 incident, caught on local camera footage, the driver's insurance covered costs to replace the top of the clock, which cost nearly $13,500. 

This year, the chamber hopes to replace the clock by September, although Tyznar said the timeline isn’t definite.

“That’s what I’m aiming for,” Tyznar said.

Customers in Hammer and Stain, the closest business to the clock, heard the glass shatter when it fell.

“We didn’t see anything. We heard it. And we had camp in here, and it had just shattered everywhere, so all of our kids, that’s all they wanted to do for the next two hours, was go to the window and watch,” said Sandra Bernius, owner of the crafting store.

Michael Lofaro, an employee at Sayville Running Company who flagged down the driver, said, "It's definitely cool that they're going to be able to get the clock back up. From what I've heard, it's a piece of history in Sayville." 

Tyznar said the green and gold-trimmed clock also is the Sayville chamber’s logo. As chamber president, people have gifted her multiple artistic renditions of the clock, such as paintings and even a crystal model.

The Sayville chamber is ordering a replica of the clock from Electric Time Co. in Massachusetts, which custom manufactures tower clocks, building clocks and post clocks. The replacement will cost just over $18,000 and is covered by the company insurance of the truck driver.

A spokeswoman for Electric Time, Brandie Morris, said post clocks provide "a focal point" for communities and, besides "being an attractive architectural product," offer value through "their signage and telling time."

The clock in Sayville, cast in aluminum, is a historical replica of the E. Howard 2 Dial Post Clock manufactured around the early 1900s, she said. 

According to historic news reports, the Sayville clock was installed in 1929 by H.L. Terry and Sons Jewelers and reinstalled in 1939 by the McLintock Co. of Poughkeepsie after the original was destroyed by a milk truck.

The clock needed further repairs throughout the 20th century after it was struck by trucks at least three times, and it was replaced again in 2003, news reports say.

With Arielle Martinez and Caroline Curtin

Sayville's iconic clock

  • The Greater Sayville Chamber of Commerce has ordered a replacement for the Sayville clock, an iconic landmark on the hamlet's Main Street for nearly a century, after a box truck knocked the clock to the sidewalk.
  • It’s the second time in as many years the clock has been damaged by box trucks parking illegally along the nearby curb, chamber president Eileen Tyznar said.
  • The chamber hopes to replace the clock by September.
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