Historic standpipe exhibit
“Standpipe” is an old term for “water tower” that is now more commonly used for fire hose connections attached to buildings. There were once 400 standpipe-type water towers in the US, but very few remain today, the most famous probably being the 1869 Chicago Water Tower, which was built of limestone in a castle-like style. George Morgan, who designed the standpipe, built others on the same design, including one still standing in Caruthersville, Missouri.
Bremen’s standpipe is a 101-foot tall brick and steel tower located on Jackson Street just south of Plymouth Street. It was dedicated in 1975 as an American Historic Water Landmark.
A devastating fire November 6, 1891 destroyed an entire city block in town, galvanizing the community to fund the construction of a water works at Shady Side Park and the standpipe to deliver the water to residents for both firefighting and home use.
From 1892 to 1955, the standpipe served the town of Bremen as a source of water pressure with a capacity of 30,000 gallons. Now the town is served by multiple modern towers that hold ten times as much.