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Depot Park, Carver Minnesota - Greg Osterdyk

Depot Park, Carver Minnesota

Depot Park-1280

Carver Depot Park – Water Tower – Caboose from Greg Osterdyk on Vimeo.

The Carver Water Tower, long a fixture at the east end of the old downtown, is believed to be the only wooden railroad water tower in the U. S. that is still standing on its original site. It has been long been a City of Carver symbol and continues to be so.

County Road #40 at Fifth Street East, Carver Water Tower. Built in 1900 at the east end of Carver along the railroad tracks, it replaced an earlier nearby windmill-filled water tower and pump house that were built in 1873, less than two years after the MinneapolisSt. Louis Railroad line arrived in Carver.

The water tower is 35 feet high and was built of 350-year old tidewater red cypress wooden slats. It sits on a support structure of 1882 Minneapolis-St. Louis Railroad tracking rails and metal hoop poles, and has a 50,000- gallon capacity. It was built to provide the water needed to service the railroad steam locomotives that ran the Minneapolis-Chaska-Carver-New Prague line.

Carver-Steamboat-Depot-Park-Stamps2With the advent of diesel locomotives the railroad no longer had use for the tower and it was leased to the City of Carver, which for many years had used it to augment the firefighting needs of the Carver Fire Department, as it yet does today.

Eventually Carver purchased the water tower and the land on which it sits. In 1996 the water tower was deteriorating badly and the citizens of Carver organized a campaign to save it.

Carver Cancellation Announcement

Carver Cancellation Announcement

The City of Carver mailed out 380 letters detailing the need to restore the old water tower. On Sept. 6 7, and 8, 1996 the United States Postal Service through the Carver Station proclaimed a Philatelic Cancellation Announcement in conjunction with the 27th annual Steamboat Jubilee. A special pictorial postal cancellation mark was issued, featuring the Carver Water Tower surrounded by a locomotive in silhouette and the words “Help Restore Our Historic Water Tower”. The special postmarking remained in force until Oct. 8, 1996.

The City of Carver hired the Hall-Woolford Company of Philadelphia to evaluate the water tower in anticipation of its restoration. The company had 140 years of experience in erecting and restoring water towers. Jack Hillman, an expert tank inspector declared the water tower to be an unusual structure, with its use of railroad tracking rails on concrete footings something he’d never before seen in his 22 years of experience. Hall-Woolford made a model of the Carver Water Tower, which was given to the City of Carver.

In 1998 the water tower was restored with the assistance of the Carver Lions Club and a grant from the Minnesota Historical Society. During the restoration pieces of the old tidewater red cypress were salvaged and cut into blocks and sold as souvenirs, with an image of the water tower wood-burned into the blocks.

The Carver Water Tower, long a fixture at the east end of the old downtown, is believed to be the only wooden railroad water tower in the U. S. that is still standing on its original site. It has been long been a City of Carver symbol and continues to be so.

Info from: http://www.carvercountyhistoricalsociety.org/pdfs/Carver_Historic_District_2014.pdf