’70s Bear Creek water tower dismantled


MADISON — Bear Creek’s first water tower constructed in 1971 was dismantled earlier this month, although the structure had been out service for nearly a decade and a half.

The 120,000-gallon tower was on the east side of North Livingston Road behind Cypress Lake subdivision on the Highland Colony.

The tower was taken out of service when Bear Creek Water Association built a million-gallon tank on the west side of North Livingston not far from the original site.

Back in the 1970s, the tower was mainly serving rural customers along North Livingston Road, Highway 463, Robinson Springs Road, and some areas that are now the northwest part of Ridgeland. 

Bear Creek was formed in 1968 by a small group of interested citizens to serve what was then a rural area of about 30 square miles with scattered homes and farms between Canton and Madison.

Bear Creek serves Madison, the Gluckstadt area and most of south Madison County excluding Ridgeland, which runs a municipal water system.

The 80-foot tall tower was dismantled on Jan. 15. The work began at 5:30 a.m. and was completed by 3 p.m. that same day. 

“Since the old tank had been empty since 2007, we didn’t need it anymore,” said Bear Creek Manager Nolan Williamson. “It needed to be taken down.” 

Williamson has been Bear Creek’s manager since 2015. He began his career there in 2014 as an engineering manager. 

Iseler Demolition based in Port Hope, Michigan, took the tower down. The company specializes in traveling around the country taking down structures like fuel tanks, water tanks and other towers.

They took the tower down by cutting away large pieces with torches and using a crane to lower them to the ground

“Taking that old tank down was historic, and it’s a sign of our growth as a company,” he said. 

“Since 1972, the year the association was officially established, we’ve upgraded and outgrown what we used to have. We’ve gone from 120,000-gallon tanks to million-gallon tanks.” 

There are currently five different water tanks scattered around the Madison and Gluckstadt area. 

Two of them are million-gallon tanks, two are 300,000-gallon tanks, and one is a 200,000-gallon tank. 

Williamson said there are no plans to put anything in the space where the tank used to be. 

“Taking this tank down was a spot in our history,” he said. “We’ve grown so much and we plan to keep that growth going.”

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