Caruthersville Historic 1903 "Lighthouse" Water Tower Restoration

Caruthersville Historic Water Tower

The Caruthersville, Missouri historic water tower was built in 1902-03. It is one of three in the nation with the appearance of a lighthouse due to the water tank setting on top of a solid masonry stand structure. The other ones are in Indiana and Louisiana. Ours is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The brick walls halfway up the structure are two feet thick, with the exterior being covered with stucco. Part of the internal structure support system of the brick structure are floors with stairs going up to each one.

Although the stucco is peeling off the brickwork, which also requires repair, the inside brickwork appears to be in good shape, but the wood of the stairs and possibly the flooring are in bad shape due to rot.

This requires an engineering/architect consultant team to inspect and study the structure and recommend work to be done and how it should be done. The City has such a team who is contracted for such inspection and study to provide a Historic Structure Report (HSR). This team of professions has to also be certified as “historic structure” personnel with experience. Our team is composed of people from three firms, who have been vetted and approved by the Jeffris Family Foundation.

Water Tank

We are dealing with the Foundation for part of the financing, of both the HSR and hopefully the work to be done, through grants. The HSR is the first phase of financing through the Foundation’s Heartland Fund Grant. The actual work performed may be financed by the Foundation’s Capital Campaign Challenge Grant (CCCG). The first grant is a matching one and the second is a 1/3 grant with the City providing the 2/3s.

Community fund raising is an important part of both phases. At this point there is no guarantee of our being awarded the 1/3 grant. We have to be invited to participate in the CCCG and cannot begin fund raising for it until we are invited.

However, we may fundraise for the Heartland Fund Grant at this time. If you have a connection to Caruthersville or Pemiscot County or even to the Bootheel in general, please consider a donation. Any amount helps! If you are interested in saving history and landmarks, please consider making a donation. Please share this with family and friends.

Also Caruthersville has secured the services of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, which is developing in the Bootheel area. This is a requirement of the Jeffris Foundation.

Brickwork Stand

Donations are to the City of Caruthersville, which is a 501(c)3 entity, and will be deposited into an account to be used only for meeting the matching grant requirements of the Foundation. Make checks out to “City of Caruthersville” and mail to 200 West 3rd Street, Caruthersville MO 63830. Be sure to annotate checks with “Jeffris Heartland Fund”, on the bottom line. Any correspondence should also have reference to the “Jeffris Heartland Fund” Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! 

Donald Jeffries

Caruthersville Historic Water Tower Committee Chairman

Arched Doorway