Water Towers, a childhood memory

I’ve always been fascinated by water towers and reservoirs. To get to my elementary school, I walked up a steep hill, past 2 huge cisterns, then up another hill to walk past the [open to the air but fenced in from us] reservoir. The squat cylindrical tanks looked just like 2 giant metal birthday cakes with pale pink icing, and the reservoir was a giant forbidden swimming pool on a hot day. (No, we never scaled the barbed wire fence to get in, but it sure did look inviting!) The water gushed into the reservoir from a gigantic pipe, so swift and strong that you could almost feel the power. After school as we walked down the hill, we would walk on the broad pink pipes from the grassy bank to the building itself. The metal rivets helped us keep our footing. If you put your ear to the tank, you could hear life inside in the form of swishing water.

screenshot from google maps

My kids have had the experience of walking up the steep hills from my childhood home and seeing the path I took to school as a kid, but sadly we had to forgo the experience of walking on the water pipes. These days,  the tanks are fenced off from young children and those who would inflict vandalism.

More on water towers this week…

8 responses to “Water Towers, a childhood memory

  1. What are those tanks used for?
    Sounds like you had a long way to school back then.

  2. The house I grew up in was across the road from the reservoir that started out as the town water supply. I don’t think it was in use very long after we moved in though. It still has open access, you often see canoes on the lake. The city used to have bathtub races during the Aug long weekend and there used to be an oversized swan sculpture (city symbol, the Trumpeter Swan). It was supposed to be anchored at the one end, but every once-in-awhile it would break loose and float along towards the dam.

  3. Hey, Karen!!!

    You’re the only one I know got my metaphor at today’s post! I think everyone thinks I’m restoring an old car.

    Was I too subtle? I added a bit at the top. Give me your thoughts!!!

  4. Oh, and yes on the water tanks – how cool they weren’t fenced then. are these in Magnolia? Where i lived we had the reservoirs – Volunteer & the one between Denny & Pine.

  5. Kids have a guardian angel. Nowadays I’d be too scared to do half the things I did when small. And I probably wouldn’t have let my own kids do some of them.

  6. When I was a kid our reservoir wouldn’t fit in tanks and we swam in it all the time. It was called — still is for that matter — Lake Coeur d’Alene.

  7. What a great memory! I’ve never thought of water tanks as birthday cakes before… 😉

  8. I don’t think I’ve ever seen cisterns…here, the water is in huge tanks! Hmmm…