Original standpipe (water tower) built in 1900
In 1899, when Westby had a population of 524, it was decided that all citizens should have the availability of a village water system for all their water needs as well as be able to fight fires. Before this, there was a village well located close to the stockyard and a wooden windmill located east of Main Street and north of First street. Apparently not everyone was connected to village water, however, and those who were, did not have enough water pressure if a fire emergency should arise.
Andrew H. Dahl, in his first general store, that was made of wood, had his own firefighting equipment. He had a sprinkler system. The sprinklers were either connected to the village water system or he had a water storage tank in the attic or both. In the bigger cities this was common but probably he was the only one in Westby who had such a luxury.
A half acre site for the construction of the water tower and well were bought from Ole Thoreson for $100. The site was described as a solid rock 60 feet hill, located in the center of the village.
Original tower with 15 feet in height
and a roof added in the ‘30s
Construction of the water tower and the new well were completed in 1900. Both were located on the hill behind where the Stabbur is located today. The new water tower was 16 feet in diameter and 50 feet tall and the well was dug a depth of 300 feet as a cost of $313.20. The last well dug in Westby in 1975 cost almost $250,000.
When the water tower was completed in 1900, it did not have roof, so anything flying over, could and sometimes did, fall in. A roof was added sometine in the middle to late 1930s. Also at this time an additional 15 feet of height was added.
For 84 years, with the addition of a water storage tank located north of the ballpark, this water tower served the water needs of Westby until it was replaced in 1984 by what we have today.