The original Santa Cruz Town Clock was atop the 1873 Oddfellows building, and can be seen in a photo on History Pages: 30 – How the Town Became a City. That clock tower was destroyed in 1899, as shown in the SCPL photo at left. A new brick tower was soon built, which is the one that was placed in its current location in time for the 1976 city centennial celebration, atop a newly-constructed red brick base, on the most central downtown intersection where Front Street ends at Water street.
A SCPL Local History article on Santa Cruz Fire Dept. history includes this:
"In 1878, a fire bell was purchased to alert all volunteers of a fire. It was placed in a tower behind City Hall. . . . It was retired in 1940 and is now located in the clock tower at North Pacific Avenue and Water Street."
The "tower behind City Hall" can be seen at far right in the photo of the destroyed clock tower. The round-topped shape at the top of the tower appears to be the bell in its mounting frame (compare to the bell silhouette in the modern clock tower photo).