Huson water tower should be rebuilt - to original

REBUILD IT. It won’t be the same century-and-athird old historical landmark structure, but the Huson water tower should be rebuilt.

The 19th-century landmark was destroyed last month in a senseless and tragic fire that officials have labelled as “suspicious” in nature and that was a shame.

The tower, along with the bluff above the Mullet River that it stood on, had been donated to the city in the 1960s by the descendants of Henry Huson. Huson built the tower in the 1880s to house the water pump that provided water for his home across Collins Street – which is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The tower had fallen into disrepair over the years, but a citywide fundraising effort, spurred by several local civic and service organizations, raised the money to restore the tower.

The tower and surrounding land were dedicated as Huson Park in the summer of 1976 as part of the city’s bicentennial celebration.

Since then, it had served as the centerpiece of one of the hidden gems in the city’s park system.

It was a unique feature that drew visitors and questions. It served as a picturesque backdrop for many pictures over the years and provided a place of rest, relaxation and enjoyment of nature in the middle of the city’s bustle and daily grind.

Now it is gone.

But the city did have it insured and, according to City Administrator/Utilities Director Brian Yerges, the city should receive an insurance settlement payment for the loss.

It may well not be enough to rebuild and restore the tower, but if it’s not, it should at least serve as a substantial start on the effort.

That can serve as the seed to grow the funds needed to fully rebuild the tower – which should be done.

The people of Plymouth have proven time and again that they can rise to the occasion when there is a genuine need and support a good cause with their money, time and effort. This would be one such occasion.

Before it fell into disrepair, the water tower featured a windmill on its roof that helped provide the power to pump water from the well across the street to the Huson home – something that is visible in many historic photos of the tower and downtown Plymouth.

For whatever reason, that feature was not replicated when the tower was restored half a century ago. Perhaps this time, when the tower is rebuilt, that feature can be part of the structure.

What an addition that would be to downtown Plymouth. Add it to the many other attractions of downtown Plymouth, from quaint shops in historic buildings to the two dozen or so Walldogs murals and our downtown would be an even greater and more unique attraction.

Rebuild it.

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