Reflections: Remembering Cardington’s water tower

By Evelyn Long - The Sentinel

Every so often while moving along East Main Street I look up to where the water tower stood for 60 years.

Most of us remember it as a Cardington land mark that stood on the back of the lot, East Second Street, now occupied by the Farmers Citizens Bank. It was built when the village water system was installed in 1936 and according to the village history, the water was pumped from wells north of the village through the newly laid lines to the water tower where there “was enough pressure to enable it to reach any location in the village.”

Not everyone signed up for water. When the water lines were laid in the streets which were basically of soil, water meters were installed in the homes of those who wanted the water. I can’t imagine anyone not wanting water! The drinking fountain on the square was installed at the same time. If you look closely you can see the square on the sidewalk that covers the spot that used to be the water fountain.

I remember the water tower, probably 130 feet tall, as a challenge to the most daring youngsters and many climbed the ladder leading to the cat walk which surrounded its mid section. One young teenager managed to jump from there and lived. Another young female, running from the sheriff, climbed that ladder with the sheriff right behind until he reached the halfway point and gave up on his part. Another enterprising young man reached the catwalk and took photos of East Main Street looking west- one gets a good view of the roofs of those business places.

Jim Ullom, retired Fire Chief, recalls the time when the owner of a used car lot near the tower, complained that the water was dripping from it onto his cars. Jim cautiously made the climb up and found no leaks but it was a climb he never forgot The tower would be painted on the inside at intervals and sadly one of those painters fell to his death inside the tower. It withstood the high winds of the 1981 tornado but was taken down in December, 1997 about a year after the new 150 foot, 300,000 gallon tower was erectedv at the end of Fourth Street.

Danny Wood, current Village Administrator, said he watched via a video in 2004 as the interior of this tower was cleaned by workmen wearing lights on their helmets as they peeled sediment from the interior with a vacuum hose.

The tower is currently being power washed and repainted white and will be topped off with the village’s logo, the log cabin on both sides and the village’s name painted on the tower. This will help identify the village to not only highway drivers but also those in small planes. So the water tower remains a part of Cardington’s history as it has since 1936 but I prefer to appreciate and admire it from ground level.

May of 1926

Martin Hack, US Navy, was located at Mare Island, Ca and told his folks via a letter that he enjoyed the trip out there, delighted with the place and liked his work.

Sadly, that same month a 37 year old Edison man, father of three children,

was killed by a stick of dynamite that blew up when he was blowing out a


May of 1946

Marengo Knights of Pythias held an open house. Entertaining

was the Melody Five: Gathel Crum, pianist; Cletus Beckel, bass; Clyde Gregory, guitar, Henry Hanson, violin, Frank Williams, traps and Mrs. Cletus

Beckel, vocalist.

Two persons “leisurely” burglarized the Cardington School, took $40 and did considerable damage to the building. They broke eight class room doors, two office doors, the door to the school cafeteria and music room and two outside doors. They stole tools from the industrial shop to open a safe and desk drawers in the superintendent’s and principal’s offices They also enjoyed a lunch of milk, cream and cold wieners in the cafeteria.

The following Chesterville seniors were presenting the comedy “Let Me Out of Here:” Hannah Spangler, Mary Lou Snyder, Eston Bachelder, Robert Squires, Betty Lou Dodson, Clarence Robinson, Robert Barrick, Mary Fogle, Betty Jo Kempton and Lee Struble.

By Evelyn Long

The Sentinel

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