Clare Co. Couple Installs Free Payphone for Neighborhood to Connect with Loved Ones

A couple in Clare County is using their hobby of restoring old phones to connect people with their loved ones.

“It’s a piece of history everyone seems to forget about,” says Ashley Whitney.

Whitney and her fiancé Steven Landon have been collecting old telephones for nearly eight years, restoring them to their original glory.

“I like getting them to work,” says Landon. “I like making them, that’s the best part of it, I don’t like talking on them that much, but I do like making them ring.”

94135803 920177118434519 5684289018963951616 NThe click of the dial, pull of the chain and connection to the operator; it’s why Landon and Whitney decided to install this 1980 Western Electric payphone outside of their house for everyone to use.

Whitney says, “I know a lot of people in our neighborhood that can’t afford their phone bill sometimes, so we figured we’d just put one out here, get something that’s unique and interesting so that they can make a call if they need to.”

Rain, show or shine anyone can go up to the phone, pick it up and call their loved ones for free.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s three o’clock in the morning and raining the phones still out there,” says Landon.

In a world that’s long distance for now, Landon and Whitney hope this will help connect people to their loved ones.

“I have my own family members in nursing homes that I can’t see myself and I miss them every day, so the best way for me to stay connected is to call them,” says Whitney.

The couple just asks you sanitize surfaces when you hang up.

For location and more information about Free Public Payphone, Whitney and Landon have created a Facebook page here: The Hill Haven Free Public Payphone.

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