National Register of Historic Places

Lusk Water Tower


Date Added to Register

Monday, August 12, 1991

Smithsonian Number


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The Lusk Water Tower is significant for its association with the Chicago and North Western Rail Line (C&NW), a major railroad that stimulated Wyoming's settlement and development of rail transportation corridors. Massive water towers and windmills were regular features of station sites during the age of steam. The Lusk Water Tower was built by the Fremont, Elkhorn and Missouri Valley Railway (a subsidiary of C&NW) in 1886 when it extended its line from Chadron, Nebraska to Lusk, Douglas, and Casper, Wyoming. The redwood water tank is supported on timber piles; water was pumped from a well to the tank by windmill and then discharged into steam locomotives for boiler water. Originally, the water tower ws built in the center of Lusk near the depot. The water tower was moved to its location near the east boundary of the town of Lusk in 1919 when the depot was rebuilt. The Lusk Water Tower is Wyoming's only surviving railroad structure of its type.

Department of State Parks & Cultural Resources