Original views on life in rural America
December 17, 2020
I am a woman on a mission.
Or, at least I have an idea I hope Ewing community members will believe is viable and consider pursuing.
During Monday’s Village Board of Trustees meeting, discussion turned to the old water tower and the possibility of it coming down once the new tower is functioning.
It got me thinking about my friend, and SAM freelancer, Terri Hahn.
Terri grew up in Lewellen. About two years ago, she wrote about her hometown’s efforts to save the town’s water tower.
The structure has a lot of similarities to Ewing’s tower, including the black steel legs, round tank and signature top. Lewellen’s well no longer met federal safety guidelines, so a new system was installed.
Terri’s friend, Jo Lynn Blackwell said when town fathers talked about demolishing the structure, she knew she had to do something about it.
“I just can’t imagine the skyline without it,” she said in a 2018 article penned by Hahn.
A group banded together in efforts to save the tower. They formed a non-profit organization, sought a lease on the tower and land, assumed liability for insurance and maintenance and got to work.
Blackwell and company’s primary goal: preserve the village’s history. They applied for National Historic Register designation and received it.
They sold bricks to form a plaza under the tower. They hawked Save the Tower T-shirts as a fundraiser.
Now, the tower stands tall and proud against the Panhandle sky. It continues to be lit to celebrate holidays and local celebrations.
Uh, deja vu strikes again.
I believe we should work to preserve a piece of Ewing’s rich and longstanding history.
I can’t imagine Ewing’s skyline without its signature structure.
It’s an iconic vision of the past, with the new tower in the background.
The structure was erected in 1908, at a cost of $3,200. Spittler Brothers earned a $25 profit from the sale.
Let’s start an earnest discussion about the possibility of keeping the water tower. Let’s talk about its importance as an historic structure.
Let’s work together to make Ewing a signature water tower town.