Friday, June 13, 2014

Railroad Water Tower

This is Highway #15 at the south edge of town looking up the hill to downtown Seward. The little RR Water Tower is the reason for the picture. The tower dates back to the days of steam locomotives when they needed quantities of water. The Burlington/Santa Fe RR still runs trains   on the tracks but the main line is south of town where a high number of coal trains pass through every day. There are few of us that remember seeing the big arm swing down from this tower and fill the engine's water tank. That has not happened for probably 60-75 years. Some years ago, our 1st Impressions Committee talked of it being repainted the original "red" with a flag and "Welcome to Seward" sign on it. At that time, its ownership was in question. When the RR ceased to use it, they leased it to a local business that stored fertilizer in it and sold it in "bulk" amounts to farmers. That business didn't last long, but it did contaminate the structure according to more recent regulations. Again, some interested town people obtained permission to paint it camouflaged as a tree. Recently, a member of our 1st Impressions clarified the ownership with County Courthouse documents which show the RR having ownership. After receipt of the documentation, the RR has put it and the little nearby concrete block building on their "demolition" list for this calendar year. I still think it would have made a great welcome monument to our historic town but it's not to be. It will be retained only in pictures and in some of our memories.  Time Marches On. (ambulabunt in tempore)

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