Grapevine, Texas has some new characters in town. The interesting thing is, you have to look upwards 75 feet toward Grapevine’s Glockenspiel Clock Tower to see them.
Grapevine recently dedicated its 127-foot-high Clock Tower featuring two larger-than-life, 9-foot tall Glockenspiel characters, known as the Would-Be Train Robbers, Nat Barrett and Willy Majors.
Located 75 feet in the air within the Clock Tower, these figures emerge each day shortly before the stroke of noon and 6 p.m. to attempt the perfect heist. Just as Glockenspiels in Europe are rooted in history, Grapevine’s Clock Tower figures reflect the Western lore that many visitors from outside Texas find interesting and entertaining.
The debut was featured as part of the dedication of the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Headquarters and Museum Complex during the City’s 28th Annual Main Street Days festival.
The first character, Nat Barrett circa 1890, is a young cowboy looking for a one time heist to fund his dream of moving west and buying his own ranch. With an eye towards getting even with the Railroad at the next to last stop, he returns to Grapevine and, by chance, meets the second would-be train robber, Willy Majors.
Willy has lived his entire life just outside of the law and spent most of his time gambling and robbing the occasional train across the West, never harming anyone during his criminal deeds. Now, Willy is searching for one last heist to ride off into the sunset and disappear forever.
Both characters have come to rob the train of $60,000 (approximately $1.5 million in today’s dollars). As these two meet and argue, they miss the opportunity to rob the train and learn that crime doesn’t pay.
The Glockenspiel was built by The Verdin Company of Cincinnati, Ohio. Since 1842, the Verdin family has been creating tower clocks, street clocks, fine cast bronze bells, carillons and more.
The Would-Be Train Robbers were created by LifeFormations of Bowling Green, Ohio. A viewing plaza is located across the street from Grapevine’s Glockenspiel Clock Tower for optimal viewing.