City Water Tower


On April 10, 1913, the City of Rupert completed this second deep well, one block north of the town square, to supply the water needs of the rapidly growing city. The 8-inch well was cased to bedrock, at 102 feet and had 45 feet of water at a depth of 105 feet. This 35 ft. x 35 ft. x 140-foot high, riveted steel, water tower was constructed over the well by the DesMoines Iron Bridge Company, at a cost of $3,000. The Fairbanks-Morse Company supplied the pumps for $1,548. The 42,000 gallon circular tank has a half-sphere bottom and a conical roof, with a 10-inch pipe connecting the bottom of the tank to the City Water Department building below. According to an October 23, 1913 journal entry, “The work of wiring the water tower for lights on top of the tower was begun Monday. The funds for this purpose were raised by subscription among the business houses of the city and the juice (electricity) will be paid for by the town. There will be two lights and they will aid very materially in lighting the city, as well as calling attention to the town at night.” A former mayor’s favorite expression, when he left town was, “Don’t let anybody blow up the water tower.” Then in 1987, the southwest leg was completely severed by a vandal’s bomb. The tank was rapidly drained and, fortunately, the three-legged tower did not fall. It was quickly repaired and restored to operation. Shortly afterward, the chain-link fence was placed around the tower. The structure is a contributing component of the Historic District.