South Carolina Picture Project
South Carolina Picture Project

Belton Standpipe — Belton, South Carolina

SC Picture Project  |  Anderson County  |  Belton Standpipe

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Belton Standpipe

This unique, castle-like structure was built in 1908-09 as a water tower for the City of Belton. Rising 155 feet into the air, it has long been used by pilots to pinpoint their location along the eastern seaboard.

Belton Standpipe Tower

Crystal Rhodes of Belton, 2012 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Interestingly, the tower is not a true standpipe in that standpipes store water throughout their lengths, not just in tanks at top. Another odd fact is that, unlike a lighthouse, the “standpipe” has no stairs inside it. A ladder reaches along the exterior, and water flows through a 10-inch pipe in the tower’s center. The small windows in the wall, as seen in the interior photo below, were included to allow ventilation and visibility during construction.

Belton Standpipe Interior

William H. Myers, III of Seneca, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The tower’s unusual shape helps to evenly distribute its weight. It is constructed from concrete which was poured in stages, giving the tower the illusion of being built of stone. Still used to store the city’s water supply, the capacity of the water tank within the tower is 165,000 gallons. It is located on McGee Way near its intersection with Campbell Street, one block from Belton’s business district.

Belton Standpipe

In 1987, the first annual Belton Standpipe Festival was held to raise money for renovations needed to preserve Belton’s most distinguished landmark. The image of the standpipe is included in the design of the town seal and is found on the city’s letterhead.

Belton Standpipe

Blake Lewis of Greenwood, 2012 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Of note, there is a similar standpipe-style water tower in Walterboro, as well as one in Allendale. These are the only three such towers in South Carolina.

Michael Lollis of Belton © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Reflections on the Belton Standpipe

Contributor William H. Myers, III, shares that he “went to the 2014 Standpipe Festival just to get this picture of the inside.”

Add your own reflections here.

Belton Standpipe Info

Address: McGee Way near Campbell Street, Belton, SC 29627
GPS Coordinates: 34.522400,-82.491977

Belton Standpipe Map

Please Share Your Thoughts!

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2 Comments about Belton Standpipe

Mary G. Boyd says:
February 5th, 2013 at 1:12 pm

I grew up in Belton, and this photo reminded me of a dramatic incident from my childhood. The small building in the foreground is the public library, where as a young nerd I spent much of my time. One winter ice formed on the top of the standpipe, which thawed and released the ice. I was reading at the library when, with a loud crashing sound, a large block of ice fell through the roof, hitting the nice librarian. We children were ushered out when help arrived, after seeing her bleeding from the head. I vaguely remember that she survived. I wonder how accurate my memory of 75 years ago really is? Does anyone know anything about this?

Austin (the king) Bruce says:
September 20th, 2012 at 11:29 am

That is awesome!


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