Ogilvie Watertower

The Ogilvie Watertower is a historic water tower in Ogilvie, Minnesota, United States, built in 1918. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 for having local significance in the themes of engineering and social history.[2] It was nominated for being a rare surviving example of Minnesota's earliest reinforced concrete water towers and a symbol of the local infrastructure improvements that enabled the organization of Ogilvie's fire department.[3]

Ogilvie Watertower
Ogilvie Watertower.jpg
The Ogilvie Watertower from the south
Ogilvie Watertower is located in Minnesota
Ogilvie Watertower
Ogilvie Watertower is located in the United States
Ogilvie Watertower
LocationAnderson Street, Ogilvie, Minnesota
Coordinates45°49′51.5″N 93°25′41″W / 45.830972°N 93.42806°W / 45.830972; -93.42806Coordinates: 45°49′51.5″N 93°25′41″W / 45.830972°N 93.42806°W / 45.830972; -93.42806
AreaLess than one acre
ArchitectCircular Concrete Company of Minneapolis
MPSKanabec County MRA
NRHP reference No.80002087[1]
Designated August 18, 1980


The Ogilvie Watertower is a cylinder 80 feet (24 m) tall and 21 feet 6 inches (6.55 m) in diameter. The nine-inch-thick (23 cm) concrete walls were poured in place. The water is stored in a 24-foot-2-inch-high (7.37 m), 50,000-US-gallon (190,000 l) concrete tank within the upper reaches of the tower. The structure is topped by a two-foot-high (0.61 m) parapet with crenellations that suggest a medieval fortified tower.[3]

A wood-frame garage is attached to the base of the tower on the east. Entrance to the tower is effected through double steel doors facing east. There are three 32-light windows at ground level and four more at the level of an internal wooden platform. At the 72-foot (22 m) level, a southwest-facing door once opened onto a small platform attached to the outside of the tower.[3]


The Ogilvie Watertower was one of the first water towers in Minnesota to be constructed of reinforced concrete. It was cast in place by the Circular Concrete Company of Minneapolis in 1918. Its design was a noticeable contrast to the metal tank towers found in many other communities around the state, such as the Cuyuna Iron Range Municipally-Owned Elevated Metal Water Tanks. Although other concrete water towers were built, they tended to leak at the base of the internal tank, so most have been demolished and replaced. The Ogilvie Watertower is one of the few examples of its type still standing.[3]

At the same time this tower was built, the village had an improved water system installed. This provided the infrastructure necessary for Ogilvie to organize its first volunteer fire department.[3]

The water tower was extensively restored and repainted in 1977. It was finally decommissioned in August 2011, an event commemorated by a public ceremony at the tower followed by a parade to and dedication ceremony at its modern replacement.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  2. ^ "Ogilvie Water Tower". Minnesota National Register Properties Database. Minnesota Historical Society. 2009. Retrieved 2016-12-17.
  3. ^ a b c d e Haidet, Mark (March 1980). "Minnesota Historic Properties Inventory Form: Ogilvie Watertower". National Park Service. Retrieved 2016-12-17. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ Wicklund, Alicia (2011-08-10). "New water tower highlight of Ogilvie's Back to the Tower". Press Publications. Retrieved 2016-12-16.