Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Standpipe

Located on the property of the John B. Parsons home is this unique structure. Many folks here have seen it but are unaware of what it is or how it came to be. This is the first water tower the city of Salisbury had, more often referred to as "The Standpipe".
Near the the base of this hill in the late 1800's was the Jackson Lumber Mill #1. A fire of great magnitude destroyed the mill in 1899 and history tells us the city was again in danger of burning down had the fire spread. This stand pipe was built by the Grier brothers and the location was chosen because it was the highest point in the city and gravity was the primary tool to supply the system. The standpipe was built of Swedish steel and was was quite costly, however the quality of the steel insured it's longevity.
The completed standpipe had a capacity 150,000 gals of water, just a drop in the bucket to what is used today but in the early 1900's it was sufficient.

Located near the base of this structure was a building that contained a pumping station known as "The Salisbury Water Works". That structure is now gone as I understand it. The area around the base of the tower was known as "Fireman's Park", and as I stated in the beginning it is located on the property of the John B. Parsons home. It has been overgrown with ivy and though it appears to be severely rusted the structure is quite sound. I seem to remember a few years back this structure was an issue because of it's appearance and in the end it was cleaned up and painted. I would like to see this tower preserved as it is an integral part of Salisbury's history, both the city's and the Grier family that has been so influential over the years. Possibly a preservation effort can be made to once again restore it to a pleasant icon for the city.

A special Thanks goes to SFD Asst. Chief Brian Records for this information and as well as Mr. Pete Cooper who contributed as well.

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Howard said...

Good write up on the standpipe

Soapbox said...

Thank you Howard, I'm glad you stopped by. As I said much credit goes to Brian and Pete for the content.

Bunker Britches said...

The Historical Society should be backing preservaion of this landmark for Salisbury. It should be preserved and maintained for posterity not as a thing of beauty as much as a part of history of both the city and the Greer Family.
I have seen some media attention on this structure but is there an organized movement afoot to preserve it?

Soapbox said...

Not sure if there is any effort at this time. I wish there was.

Charhead said...

The City of Salisbury has shown in the past that it has no sense of history. They sold the old police/fire department building on W. Church Street, which would have made a superb city museum. It appears they will be selling Station 16 next. I have no reason to believe that they will invest any effort or funding to save the standpipe. If it happens, it will likely require a grass roots citizen effort - like usual.

Bunker Britches said...

Keep us posted if you here of any organized effort to preserve the stand pipe.

Soapbox said...

I have been informed that an effort may be underway to restore the standpipe. I do not have any solid details as of yet but I will post information as it becomes available to me.