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Water Tower Disaster

A black and white photograph showing the framework of a water tower being constructed with piles of lumber in the foreground and the embankment of the Halifax and Southwestern Railway bed in the background. This tower was to supply water for the village water supply and the trains.

Water tower under construction

Forman’s son, Frank Hawboldt, recalled, ‘When the water system was first installed no electricity was available, so the pump had to be driven by a gasoline engine which was impractical to run at night. Each property had an attic storage tank to supply water at night but shortages often occurred.

“Father attempted to counter this by building a steel tower about 90 feet high with a large tank on top. The tower was located next to his marine shop with the tank…out of necessity, being higher than any other point in town.”

“This was about the only time I saw my father make a major mistake in engineering. He neglected to fit guy wires to the tower with the result a heavy winter gale toppled the works over the roof of the machine shop. Electricity coming to town shortly afterward meant the pumps could be operated on a 24-hour basis so the tower was not rebuilt.”


View Transcript Tower Topples

Interview with Alan Bremner who worked for Hawboldt’s until he retired.


Chester Municipal Heritage Society