Walking around Lopez Village you might see two or three similar looking tall structures. There's one here, one by Vortex Juice Bar, and another -- can you find it? These historic building are water towers, over 100 years old. Oscar and Bertie Weeks built them around 1914. This one is 30 feet high with three levels. Originally, the ground level housed a milk separator, the second level gave access to the water tank and its connections, and the third level supported a wooden water tank. The levels were connected by a vertical ladder. The small pump house next to it housed a gasoline driven water pump. This pump lifted the water from the well to the elevated tank for storage. The water then flowed by gravity to various locations on the farm it served.
Over the years these water towers have served as small businesses, selling t-shirts, locally crafted books and goods, and even the Thrift Shop (in another tower). The photos above are from the late 1960s, and of apple cider pressing in the early 1980s.
In 2003 this water tower was listed on the Washington Historic Register. It is a frequent attraction for visitors in the Village Park which is owned by San Juan County.
Through the last 100+ years, the water tower has seen Lopez Village evolve from fields and fruit trees, to the bustling island center it is today.