In August of 1987, the State
Department of Archives and History accepted the
eighty-year-old standpipe, which is used for water storage,
as a historical site. The castle-like tower that rises above
the town of Belton has become a familiar landmark. For many
years, the standpipe was an international landmark for pilots
flying the southeast to help pinpoint their location. Its
image has long been used as Beltons logo in the
towns seal and on government and municipal letterheads.
In 1908, Belton Council approved
spending the amount of $12,500 to build the standpipe. Construction on the 155 foot structure on ONeal Street
(one of the highest reinforced concrete structures in the
United States) was began in late 1908 and completed in early
1909. The structure was one hundred feet high by January 3rd,
1909, with the additional fifty-five feet added later that
year. The unusual shape of the
standpipe is said to have been
an idea of the builders to secure a more even distribution. The little windows in the structure, from bottom to top, were
placed there for ventilation and so construction workers
could get sunlight to see what they were doing. The
standpipes base is thirty feet in diameter and it
penetrates thirty feet into the ground, where it widens out
into a funnel shape. From the ground level, it tapers inward
one hundred feet to the point where the water tank begins.
From that point, the tower ranges outward again to thirty
feet in diameter and upward fifty-five feet to the top. It
has the capacity to hold up to 150,000 gallons of water and
is currently full.
In October of 1987, the first
annual Standpipe Festival was held to help raise money for
the improvement of the outside appearance of the historic
structure as well as other renovations for safety and water
storage reasons. These renovations began in late 1989 and
were completed to satisfaction in June of 1991. Although the
original reasons for the Standpipe Festival are no longer
needed, the festival still remains an annual event that all
of Belton looks forward to.
A Tradition Is
Born In Belton So History Will Remain Alive
Mail, Anderson SC, Thursday, October 1,1987
From Staff Reports
The castle-like tower that
rises above the town of Belton the standpipe for water
storage has become a familiar landmark. Its image has
long been used as Beltons logo in the towns seal
and on official government and municipal letterheads.
On Saturday, the first
annual Belton Standpipe Festival will be held in an effort to
raise $20,000 which will be utilized to improve the outside
appearance of the historic structure. Other major renovations
are planned for safety reasons and to allow the city to
maintain the standpipes use as a storage tank for
The standpipe can be seen
for miles around, and for many years, this slogan was placed
on top of the tower: "Watch Belton Grow."
Construction on the 155-foot
structure on ONeal Street one of the highest
reinforced concrete structures in the United States-begun in
late 1908 and completed in 1909. The unusual shape of the
standpipe is said to have been an idea of the builders to
secure a more even distribution.
Belton Mayor Skipper Maynard
said the little windows in the structure from bottom to top,
were placed there for ventilation and so that the
construction workers could get sunlight to see what they were
doing. Belton Council, in 1908, approved spending the amount
of $12,500 to build the standpipe. The structure was 100 feet
high by January 3, 1909, with the additional 55 feet added
later this year.
Maynard said the standpipe
currently is used for water storage; it holds 150,000 gallons
of supplement water from two other water tanks built in
The standpipe base is 30
feet in diameter and it penetrates 30 feet into the ground,
where it widens out into a funnel shape. From the ground
level, it tapers inward 100 feet to the point where the water
tank begins, and from that point the tower ranges outward
again to 30 feet in diameter and upward 55 feet.
During the period of
construction, R.A. Lewis was mayor and water commissioners
were W.J. Morhead, Walter B. Greer, and John A. Horton.
"As far as we know, the
Belton standpipe is the only one still standing at this time
in the country," Maynard said.
Rentz Engineering Co. of
Columbia completed a full-scale feasibility study of the
structure in March to find out if the standpipe is
structurally sound and to estimate the cost of cleaning and
making improvements for safety and continued use.
According to a Rentz
engineers report, we are satisfied to report that no
structure and or material deficiencies of not able magnitude
were encountered. And overall, the structure is in good
condition for its age.
Independent Mail, Anderson SC, Thursday, October 1,1987
Remedial repairs were
recommended as four primary areas:
1. A liner for the interior
of the tank.
2. Cleaning and sealing cold
joints along the exterior of the water tank.
3. Cleaning and application
of waterproofing sealant
4. Replacement of exterior
and interior ladders.
The study cost $27,000,
which was paid through a grant awarded to Belton by the state
of South Carolina.
Maynard said the city water
department would be responsible for replacing the interior
lining and for repairing the cold joints and the two ladders.
A giant Santa Claus was
placed on top of the tank during Christmas of 1938 and 1939,
and a huge star was set up for Christmas of 1940. Then came
World War II, and the star was not returned until the last
"Back when they were
doing the study, the company had a crane here and we were
able to send a man up there to fix the star, so that it can
be turned on this Christmas.," Maynard said.
On August 14, Maynard and
Bobby Burriss went to Columbia to support the
standpipes nomination for the National Historic
J. Tracy Power, with the SC
Department of Archives and History, presented slide
presentation on the standpipe, and Mayand answered questions
from the board of review. The board voted to accept the
nomination on the state level for historical places.
The nomination now moves to
Washington, where it will be considered for the National
Register. Maynard said the decision should be made some time
Johnny Smith is chairman of
the communitys committee to plan and carry out the
Standpipe Festival Saturday.
"I feel like if we have
good weather Saturday, it will be a tremendous day for
Belton," the mayor said. "We are looking forward to
It is hoped that the first
Standpipe Festival will break even and raise perhaps an
additional $1,500 to donate to the standpipe. And those
involved intend for this celebration to become an annual
Said one resident;
"Belton has needed something like this for a long
Standpipe Accepted As
In August 1987, the 80-year old
standpipe on ONeal Street in Belton was accepted as a
historical site by the State Department of Archives and
According to Belton Mayor
Skipper Maynard, the nomination will be sent on to Washington
for review and consideration for the National Register of
Historic Places. A decision should be made by the end of this
year as to whether the federal government will approve the
preservation of the standpipe as a national historic site,