The old water reservoir was demolished and removed from the Mazeppa Cemetery beginning on 2/12/2013. The reservoir was built in 1908 and could hold 150,000 gallons of water. It was used for almost 100 years. They now use a larger reservoir that is located in the Scenic Heights Division.
Some photos by: Pati Liffrig Thank You, Pati !
Mazeppa Water Systems
By : Mike Holtorf
Once again a familiar landmark of Mazeppa’s past has been removed due to age and its lack of usefulness. Mazeppa’s water reservoir on Cemetery Hill has been removed. Being concerned that the nearly 105 year old concrete structure would collapse within itself and pose a danger to Mazeppa Cemetery visitors, the dirt surrounding it was removed and the 20’ high wall which measured 12” thick at the top and reached a thickness of 18” at the bottom, were ripped down last week. It still contained about 4’ of water. Situated at the north end of the vacated section of Second Street, it was the source of ready water supply for the town, and served as a play area, conversation, and wonderment, to new visitors as well as old. Some Mazeppa residents called it an icon. Some said “What harm will it do to leave it”? Few called it an “eye-sore”. It was a rather unique bit of ingenuity and craftsmanship that served Mazeppa for 100 years.
The following is a little history leading up to the need and construction of the reservoir as stated in the 1920 “History of Wabasha County”.
Shortly after the village of Mazeppa was organized, a cistern was erected at the junction of Main and Walnut streets, and in 1886 a hand engine was purchased. A volunteer fire department was organized under the auspices of the village with a chief appointed by the council. The cistern was filled by carting water from the river, or sometimes by pumping it through a hose from the mill. This was the only fire protection the village had until the great fire of the winter of 1890-91. In the meantime water for domestic purposes was obtained from surface wells. After the fire a waterworks system was established with a drilled well, a wooden tank on a 90-foot tower was built in the city park, the water being elevated by nearby windmill power. It was the original intention to have an artesian well, but after drilling to good water, the artesian well idea was abandoned. Mains were established covering the principal streets. The windmill at the waterworks was then abandoned, and an arrangement made with the mill company for the use of a well at the mill and for the pumping of the water to the tank in the park, the conditions of the lease being amended to include this provision. But in time the old tank began to show the results of age, leaking badly, and even though a brick warming house was built under the tower, sometimes freezing in winter. Therefore in 1908 a new system was inaugurated, a cement tank erected on Cemetery Hill and the mains extended. The mill still continued to pump the supply. The tank holds 3,000 barrels or approximately 150,000 gallons, and has an elevation of 83 feet above the main village street, giving a pressure of 40 pounds. There are 3,300 feet of 6-inch mains, 700 feet of 4-inch mains, 13 double hydrants and two dead ends.
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