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Our Town Shamrock: The tallest water tower in Texas

Shamrock sits along Interestate 40 in the Texas Panhandle, and located right of Highway 83 is the city's water tower. Even as the water tower sits half full, it is also an economic boon for the city.

Shamrock Mayor Buck Weatherby summed it up best by saying what the city has to offer when it comes to the tallest historical water tower in the state of Texas.

"We tell people it is a Kodak opportunity," said Weatherby.

Built at a cost of just over $6,000 in 1915, the City said some 100 years later is cashing in on the investment.

"We get tourists that come in," said David Rushing, city manager. "They will come in. They will purchase fuel. They will stop at our restaurants. They eat at the restaurants. We're not a destination like Fredericksburg; that is what our goal is - to become a destination."

With the help of local residents, the Shamrock water tower was recently named a Texas Recorded Historical Landmark - the highest honor afforded to a structure in the state.

"You know we're proud of our water tower," said Mickey Mitchell, Shamrock resident. "Its status with the state as a registered historical landmark is something to be really proud of."

"We use is a reserve," said Weatherby. "We keep it about half full. If we're going to maintain our water system here in town and have to shut it down for an hour or so, why don't we use the water out of the tower still?"

Volunteer efforts on a number of projects have helped restore the tower to enhance its look.

"Most of it is with the landscaping," said Mitchell, "mowing, taking care of the flowers, pulling some weeds, just making sure the landscape looks good."

"[Volunteers] go out and do the maintenance on it," said Rushing. "If the city has to do some things, then of course we do. I would say 98 percent is maintained by citizens."

The all-steel structure can be seen for miles away and is estimated to be between 172' and 176' tall. While it's praised to be the tallest water tower in Texas, there are some active water towers in the United States that are significantly taller. The Wallop's Island Water Tower is 287' tall. The Union Township in New Jersey is 211' tall, but they don't have the history that the Shamrock water tower has.

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