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Wisconsin National Register of Historic Places

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Oregon Water Tower and Pump House (Mead & Hunt, 2006)

Oregon Pump House (Mead & Hunt photo, 2006)

Oregon Water Tower (Mead & Hunt photo, 2006)

Oregon Water Tower and Pump House
134 Janesville Street, Oregon, Dane County
Date of construction: 1899/1921

The Village of Oregon water tower and pump house were built in 1899 amidst growing community concerns over fire protection and water supply. The current metal tank was installed in 1921, replacing a wooden tank. The water tower and pump house operated until being drained in 1981.

Oregon's 100-foot water tower is an example of an elevated water storage tank supported by a steel trestle. The most popular form of the all-metal elevated tank, known as the "classic tin man," was introduced in 1894 and is characterized by a curved bottom storage tank mounted on a four post trestle tower. Oregon's water tower is an example of this "tin man" form. The design of the tower derived from sources such as windmills, bridges, and railroad service tanks. This elevated tank type of water tower construction was developed in the 1890s, and by 1905 it had surpassed the masonry water tower and standpipe as the preferred structural form for water storage. The pump house is a brick utilitarian building, located directly beneath the tower. It housed the pump, gasoline engine, and controls required to operate the well and tank. It features a stepped gable and decorative brickwork on the facade.

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