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Walterboro Water Tower — Walterboro, South Carolina

SC Picture Project  |  Colleton County  |  Walterboro Water Tower

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Walterboro Water Tower

Looming over the historic City of Walterboro in Colleton County, the Walterboro Water Tower is one of the area’s most interesting, and recognizable landmarks. Standing at 133 feet tall, this tower – or standpipe – is only one of only three located in the state.

Standpipe Water Tower Walterboro

Andy Hunter of North Augusta, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Taking several years to build, the tower was reportedly designed by an engineering firm out of Boston and was completed by 1915. Water towers were designed to help increase the pressure of water by placing an elevated tank (in this case, an 100,000 gallon tank) that is pumped by hydrostatic pumps, and gravity, out into the surrounding community. Especially helpful during peak usage times, first responders rely heavily on the need for an abundant and pressurized water source as well for things such as fire protection.

Walterboro Watertower seen from Alley

Ann Helms of Spartanburg, 2008 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Constructed from reinforced concrete, this tower, along with the Belton Standpipe in Anderson County, and the Allendale Standpipe in Allendale County, are the only three examples in South Carolina. The tower in Belton is the largest of the three holding 165,000 gallons of water.

Walterboro Standpipe Cell Door Detail

Theresa Borgeson of Conway, 2019 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

A small door on the lower portion of the tower has a peculiar feature. According to local lore, the ground level of the tower was used as the city’s jail for a short time in the early 1900s. There are six small cells inside with only a couple of windows, allowing minimum light.

Walterboro Watertower Jail

Gazie Nagle of Charleston, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Local lore goes on to suggest that the once the jail closed, the cells were offered to stranded travelers in need of a place to stay for the night. While we are unsure of the truths to either of those claims, the cells do present an interesting situation to ponder. If you happen to know more information, we would love to hear it, please add your information below. Thank you!

Walterboro Water Tower Cell

Gazie Nagle of Charleston, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The Walterboro Water Tower is included in the National Register as part of the Walterboro Historic District:

The Walterboro Historic District is a significant collection of properties located near the center of the town of Walterboro. The majority of the properties in the district were constructed between ca.1800 and ca.1945 and represent a wide range of nineteenth and early twentieth century vernacular design. The district is primarily residential in character, but also includes religious, educational, and public buildings. The visual appearance of the district reflects the historical development of the town, which was one of several South Carolina pineland villages settled during the early nineteenth century by planters in search of a healthful climate.

Walterboro Water Tower: Help Us Learn More

Please fill in one or more fields based on your knowledge. We really appreciate your help, and we will credit you for your contribution. Learn more about our Adopt A Landmark program. Thank you!

Walterboro Water Tower Info

Address: North Memorial Avenue at East Washington Street, Walterboro, SC 29488
GPS Coordinates: 32.902347,-80.662297

Walterboro Water Tower Map

Please Share Your Thoughts!

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One Comment about Walterboro Water Tower

Ronnie Blanchard says:
February 1st, 2013 at 5:40 pm

I work for the Walterboro post office from 04/15/1988 to 10/30/2009, I parked my car at Colleton County tower. I would eat at the Hiot Drug store at noon. Paul Hooker was my postmaster, and Edward Culpepper.


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