Sunday, January 18, 2009

Towering above

One of our lesser known groupings of interesting things is our water towers!

HARPER: It's not hard to spot the red fish on top of this unique 1886 stand-pipe water tower. When the 120-foot tower was erected, a nine-and-a-half foot red fish was placed at the top as a weather vane. An 1892 tornado bent it in half but the city replaced it and it's been a fixture ever since.

WEIR: The brick cylindrical water tower is no longer in use but is still an imposing figure on the landscape in this Cherokee County town.

NARKA: Looking for a water tower painted like a space ship ? Go to Narka in Republic County!

GAS: The world's largest Gas Kan is found in this Allen County town!

CANTON: It began as a teenage prank back in the early 1960s. Kids crawled to the top of one water tower and painted Hot. The city decided to embrace the idea so they painted Cold on top of the other one! The Hot and Cold water towers in Pratt also started as a joke in 1956.

A sampling of other interesting water towers in the state:

The only railroad wooden water tower (1885) left in Kansas is found in Beaumont and was restored a few years ago.

Glasco's water tower cap is painted in primary colors to recognize that they are one of the towns in Cloud County, the stained glass capital of Kansas.

The plaque on the tall cylindrical brick water tower in Cherokee (Crawford Co.) reads, "Cherokee Water Works, 1896." It's still working -- and it has windows. Now how does that work...

The cylindrical water tower in Paradise (Russell Co.) was a 1938 WPA project.

Many water tower tops in the state are painted red, others green. The color on the top is a calling card for two different companies that paint water towers. One is the red company, the other the green!

We pay lots of attention to our water towers. After all, they are used as a landmark when looking for a town.

To find a town using the water tower method is to "Get Kansas!"

KE #2 Marci Penner


Anonymous said...

There is an interesting little water tower tucked away in RIverton that I have never seen mentioned anywhere else. Near where the Spring River Inn was located.


Anonymous said...

Dave Leiker has a hundred or so Kansas water towers in his water tower gallery.