The original wooden Water Tower was erected in 1897 as part of the campus water
distribution system. Well water was too salty and the Kanawha River contained excessive iron sediment (from the
West Virginia Board of Control Second Biennial Report - 1912). A second tower with tank was added and filtration system
developed to provide sufficent water for the school in 1912.
The photographs Water Tower 1 and 13 display an early tower between East Hall (at its original location) and the first
Fleming Hall 1 (1892). Image 15 displays the two wooden towers to the left and right of the A.B. White Building.
In 1920 the two towers were replaced by the current 154 foot forged steel tower/tank (with greater water pressure). The current
tower supplied college water until 1969 when the West Virginia Water Company installed a pump station.
While no longer functional as a water tower, the tower has been used as a college landmark for over a hundred years. In the 1980's
the tower was in dire need of repair and a consultant recommended the it be dismantled. A "Save Our Tower" motto rallied students,
faculty, staff, alumni and friends to raise money for the tower's renovation and refurbishment.
The West Virginia State University Water Tower is a monument which evokes strong feelings of loyalty in alumni. President
John W. Davis (1919-1953) and Director of Trade and Technical Education Professor James C. Evans wrote a slogan for the Tower:
The Tower Tank, adorned with the insignia of aviation, rises majestically above the campus of West Virginia State
College. A landmark for travelers by auto and train, by boat and plane, it is a symbol of the mission of the College in leading youth
to acquire vision for service.
Water Tower 1897-1920 Wooden structure; Water Tower 1912-1920 Wooden tower; Water Tower 1920- Steel tower.