Old Frisco Wooden Water Tower


Built in 1885 for Frisco Railroad steam engines in Beaumont, the water tower provided water for the railroad roundhouse and cattle shipping operation.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is the oldest wooden water tower still operating in America.

Achievements, Awards and Goals:

The “Friends of the Beaumont Water Tower” was organized in 1989, when three ladies had a passion to preserve the 1885 Frisco built wooden water tower. We created many items to sell to strive to meet our goals. We had to gain ownership of the property from the railroad which was timely. During this time we were fund raising, going to festivals and in 1993, we decided to have our own festival. Our festival is an annual event to this date.

We raised the $8,200.00 needed for our part of the “Heritage Trust Fund Grant.” The total preservation project was $41,000.00 and was completed in 1998 under the direction of Dan Rockhill, KU Professor.

Goals the “Friends of the Water Tower Organization” have completed.

* State and National Site Recognitionrn * Ownership of the property from Burlington Northern / Santa Fern * Lighting effects for night on the towerrn * Electric Pole with an electric panel for festival usern * Heritage Trust Fund Grant / Preservation project of the historic towerrn * Highway / Historic Marker Signs…took three years to completern * Historic Marker built at the sitern * Bronze History Plaque/ for visitors informationrn * We won the “Kansas Preservation Alliance Award for Excellence” for the preservation project, which is the Bronze Sunflower Plaque on the front of the monument marker.rn * Wiedemann Trust Grant for the HABS documentation of the tower, Vince Haines and KU Professor Steve Padget and his study team. This documentation has been placed in the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. The rest of the grant went to landscaping and the iron fence project. The grant enabled us to purchase materials needed and Senator Palmer’s husband Tommy built the fence and donated all of his labor and expertise.rn * The documentation of the HABS was submitted for the Peterson Award and we received Honorable Mention for the Peterson Award. Steve Padget Prof. Brought the presentation to us at an award breakfast during the festival. rn * Our present goal we have worked on for three years…we found an original Sheffield Flexible Water Column, Fairbanks and Morse & Co. In a private collection in Wappingers , NY. We have raised and paid for the column and now have to raise the funds to bring it to Beaumont. This will help us to complete more railroad history and bring significance of the tower and the steam locomotive era of Beaumont.rn * Future goals are to work on re-capturing the railroad and ranching era tourist attraction where the railroad right- away is to educate future generations.


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