Huson Water Tower coming back better than before

IT WAS HEARTENING INDEED to learn that the Plymouth Historical Society plans to go ahead with its share of the Huson Water Tower restoration project.

Work on restoring the historic landmark, which was unfortunately destroyed in an arson fire just over a year ago, will be getting underway later this summer.

The city is utilizing the insurance settlement to contract with MZ Construction of Linden in Iowa County to rebuild the landmark – and kicking in the $15,000 deductible to ensure that the tower rises from the ashes.

But what’s being reconstructed is the tower as it existed in current times – not the structure that was a feature of downtown Plymouth until some time after 1939.

According to Plymouth Historical Society President Dan Buckman, the tower originally was topped by a cupola and a windmill.

That’s because it was originally build in the 1870s to draw water from the Mullet River for the Henry Huson house across Collins Street as well as the Huson horse barns along the river below the tower.

That made the Huson house the only one in the city with running water until water service was installed throughout the city starting in the first decade of the 20th Century.

The society expressed an interest in restoring the cupola and tower as part of the reconstruction and pledged to pay the cost of that.

But then the bid for the cupola and tower came in at $35,000, more than what the society had expected.

Undeterred, the society has agreed to go ahead with their part of the project at the same time the rest of the tower is rebuilt, even though they are about $10,000 short of the figure needed.

Buckman said the society will finance the remainder of the cost through a local bank and conduct fundraising to pay off that debt.

Buckman and the society are to be applauded for making that decision.

The restored tower, complete with cupola and working windmill – although, according to Buckman, it won’t be pumping water as it originally did – will create an even greater landmark and attraction for Plymouth’s resurgent downtown.

Congratulations also to the city and city officials for agreeing to go ahead and restore the tower. They recognized the value and attraction of the feature, agreeing to use the insurance settlement to rebuild it rather than use the money for other city needs.

The Plymouth Historical Society has already ordered the windmill – made of cypress – and is looking to raise the additional $10,000 to complete the project.

Work should start soon and, by contract, is to be completed by Nov. 1, although MZ has indicated it will be able to finish well before then.

Anyone wishing to help this worthy effort can contribute in several ways:

• Stop at the historical society museum at 420 E. Mill St. and make a donation.

• Mail donations to the Plymouth Historical Society at P.O. Box 415, Plymouth.

• Go to Bank First National in Plymouth, where a fund has been established by the society.

And follow the progress of the project on Facebook by searching for “Huson Water Tower.”

Soon, the tower will be standing proud above downtown once again, a reminder of the city’s storied past.

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