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Reproduced from the Centennial Edition of the Brainerd Daily Dispatch (1871-1971).
Reproduced exactly as published in 1971 - no updates, no corrections.

photo: tower


Tower Built, 1919-22

When the Brainerd water tower was built over a four-year period from 1919 to 1922, it was the first all concrete elevated tank used by a municipality in the United States. It came to be widely known from being pictured on postcards, maps and letterheads.

The concrete tower on Sixth and Washington was constructed when Brainerd adopted a new water system. The tank had a 300,000 gallon capacity, and was raised to a height of 134 feet. The bowl was constructed in a single pouring of cement.

The tower served until 1959, when a new 1,000,000-gallon tank was constructed at a cost of about $175,000. It was drained in 1960, and since that time has been the topic of concern over its future.

Some groups feel the tower should be repaired and retained as a landmark: others feel it should be removed because of its being a safety hazard.

+ In 1882. the people in Brainerd got their water from three city wells -- that is, when the wells did not freeze. In the winter they froze and led to a near riot. It was a forerunner of much trouble for the city fathers for the next 25 years.

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