Cuthbert Water Tower

Cuthbert - Randolph County
c. 1895



A 501(c)3 non-profit organization, We Love Cuthbert, Inc., raised significant funds to rehabilitate the iconic Cuthbert Water Tower.

The Cuthbert Water Tower stands 125 feet tall and can be seen for miles around. This structure has faced dangers over the years. In March of 1909 a tornado struck, and the top of the water tower was knocked over into Rosedale Cemetery. The rush of water dislodged several graves. In the 1930s, the state highway department paved the road, moving US 82 to the water tower. They asked the city to move the water tower. The city didn’t have the funds available to move it, so the federal government built the highway around it. Listed as one of the 2018 Georgia Trust Places in Peril, the recent work repairing rust, missing bolts, peeling paint and additional supports ensures the Water Tower will survive for many more years.

The Story

Built in 1895, the Cuthbert Water Tower is the only known water tower in the center of a federal highway, Highway 82. Walsh and Weidner of Chattanooga, Tennessee, built the Water Tower for the City of Cuthbert Water Works. It was engineered by M. F. Sullivan, and the contractors were Felton and Lyttle. In March 1909, a tornado knocked the top of the water tower over into Rosedale cemetery, but the damage was subsequently repaired. When US Highway 82 came through Cuthbert in the 1940s, the city council informed the federal government that the City of Cuthbert did not have the money to move the water tower, so the federal government ultimately built the highway around it. Although it has not been used as a water tower since the 1970s, it is an iconic symbol for Randolph County.

The Threat

Owned by the City of Cuthbert, the water tower suffers from a lack of maintenance. Although it was re-painted in 1999-2000, the update was cosmetic, and no repair work was done. In addition to limited funds, the necessary repair and rehabilitation of the structure is made more difficult due to its location in the middle of a federal highway.