The Poteet Strawberry
Poteet might be better known to Texans as the birthplace of the great George Strait, but it has been “The Strawberry Capital of Texas” since long before bringing us the King of Country. So, it’s no wonder there’s a massive strawberry topping the town’s water tower.
The Lindstrom Tea Pot
There’s no denying the Swedish heritage of the folks in Lindstrom, Minn. If the giant Swedish coffee pot isn’t a tip off, the message “Welcome to Lindstrom” is also scripted across the water tower…in Swedish.
The Circleville Pumpkin
It may be a bit of an understatement to say that Circleville, Ohio is known for its pumpkins. Every year Circleville hosts a festival known as The Pumpkin Show, where pumpkins large enough to be Cinderella’s carriage are showcased. The water tower was painted to resemble the town’s favored fruit in 1997.
The Mount Jackson Apple Basket
Mount Jackson, Virginia is a town built on apples. Filled with apple orchards bearing the signature Virginia apples, the town has been displaying this work of art since 2002. Mount Jackson is home to Bowman Andros Products, a company that specializes in apple sauce, apple butter and apple juice, which explains the subtle tribute to apples on the town’s water tower.
The basket was recently repainted earlier this year.
The Leaning Tower of Niles
You don’t have to go all the way to Italy to see a leaning tower. About half an hour outside Chicago sits the small city of Niles, Ill. In 1934, industrialist Robert Ilg built the leaning tower of Niles at 1/2 scale to its twin in Pisa, Italy. The tower contained the standpipe that housed the water supply for the city pool, and is still in use as a park and tourist attraction.
The Luling Watermelon
Most Texans will tell you the Luling’s main product is oil. You can smell the crude pumping out of the ground from miles away, and the first thing you see as you drive into town are the decorative “grasshoppers” (pumpjacks) that dot the landscape, rising up and down as if to give a friendly wave to passers by. Luling has a sweeter industry though, namely watermelons. The annual “Watermelon Thump” is a festival that celebrates the watermelon farming heritage of the small town, and the watermelon water tower is a testament to that tradition.
The Rochester Corn on the Cob
In Rochester, Minn. you’ll find a mouthwatering water tower. The Seneca Water Tower, formerly the Libby Foods Water Tower is painted like a giant ear of corn and has been in place since 1931.
Though it is now a museum, the Chicago Water Tower was the original water supply for the City of Chicago. Built to draw water from the river, the tower helped fight the famous Chicago fire of 1871.
The Collinsville Catsup Bottle
Far from just being a cutesy roadside attraction, the 100,000- gallon Brooks Catsup Bottle Water Tower is a piece of American history. The tower once supplied the water for the sprinkler system of the Brooks Catsup company where, during World War II, Nazi prisoners of war used to pick tomatoes for the plant. The Brooks Catsup company is now defunct, but the water tower still stands.
The Stanton Swedish Coffee Pot
Built in 1920, the Stanton, Iowa water tower only became a coffee pot in 1970 to celebrate the return of Stanton’s most famous native, Virginia Christine, otherwise known as Mrs. Olsen from the Folgers commercials. Stanton later erected a matching coffee cup water tower that far surpassed the pot in capacity, thereby rendering the pot redundant. Because of that, the water tower was recently decommissioned in May of this year, but still stands on the ground as a monument to Virginia Christine and Stanton’s Swedish heritage.
...and Coordinating Cup
The coordinating coffee cup to Stanton’s coffee pot ended up supplanting the pot as the town’s water tower.
The Leaning Tower of Groom
The Groom, Texas water tower has drawn in many concerned travelers who think the tower is about to fall, when in fact, it was placed that way on purpose by its owner, Ralph Britten. It has sat like that since 1980, and is likely going to stay for quite some time.
The Jackson Apple
In Jackson, Ohio, apples are a way of life. The town hosts an annual apple festival every September, bakes innumerable pies and even crowns the Apple Festival Queen!
The Tipton 8 Ball
The Tipton, Missouri 8 Ball water tower was originally built as the water supply for the billiard company, Fischer Manufacturing. The company was eventually sold and the water tower repainted, but the citizens of Tipton have since refurbished the 8 ball and it still stands today.
The Shiloh Peppermint
Not far outside of St. Louis, MO., in the small town of Shiloh, Ill., a giant peppermint sits atop the city’s water supply. Don’t eat it.
The controversial water tower in Gaffney, S.C. has been referred to as “the Moon Over Gaffney”, for its resemblance to a giant derrière. The Peachoid was even featured in an episode of the Netflix series “House of Cards”.
Next: 20 Photos of Gorgeous Barns That Will Transport You to the Country
Water towers are a study in contrasts. A necessary part of any city’s infrastructure, a water tower can be camouflaged and considered an eyesore, or it can be as distinctive a landmark as a skyscraper or a beloved statue. Water towers can take on the identity of the people whose town they represent. In some cities across the United States, creative souls have undertaken veritable works of art in place of the standard water tower. Here are 15 outlandish, wonderful and weird water towers from all across the nation.