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Florence works to put water tower on national register

The Florence water tower has been nominated for placement on the National Register of Historic Places.

Neva Robinson, a member of the board of directors of Florence Historical Society, worked for two years to compile information on the antique structure.

“Gathering information from the 1880s is very interesting but sometimes very evasive and needs to be verified,” she said. “Our water tower was built in 1887-1888 and still stands on the hill and has served the community for 120 years.”

(The town of Florence was founded in 1870.)

Originally, water from the Cottonwood River was pumped with steam power to the tower. As the population of Florence increased, the need for purer water, fire protection, and a sewer system became critical.

In 1920, the city fathers bought out the Florence Water Supply Co. An agreement was made with R.G. Robison to acquire water from the natural springs (originally Riggs Springs) located on his land northwest of town. From then on, the springs were known as “city springs.”

There always has been sufficient water to supply the needs of the city, with a large overflow into the creek land below.

Robinson said she recently was contacted by the state historical society to provide more information. She is hoping to be able to comply with their specific requests.

If the nomination is accepted, Kansas State Historical Society workers will go to Florence to start the process of documenting the information concerning the water tower.

(Source: “Harvey House Notes,” August 2008)

Last modified Sept. 10, 2008

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