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Iowa History Daily: June 22 - Stanton’s Unique Water Towers

Iowa History Daily: On June 22, 2001, the southwestern Iowa town of Stanton debuted a new water tower featuring a unique cup and saucer design. The new cup and saucer paired well with and replaced the 125’ 1971 Swedish coffee pot familiar to many Iowans visiting the Montgomery County town.

In 1970 the city of Stanton came together to celebrate their Centennial in a unique way: citizens decided to transform an early 20th century water tower into a 50,000 gallon (or 640,000 cup of coffee) ode to the town’s Swedish roots. Marketing the “world’s largest coffee pot” while also using the landmark to honor Stanton native Virginia Christine (perhaps better known as “Mrs. Olson” from the popular Folgers ads of the time).

Drawing visitors for decades, the giant pot featuring handle, spout, and flames faithfully served the community’s water needs until the 21st century. However, in 2001 $1.2 million in new water improvements for the city necessitated a new structure. 

Stanton’s citizens decided the new, 150,000 gallon (2.4 million cups of coffee) featuring a cup and saucer design could still honor Virginia Christine and the town’s Swedish past. Completed in June 2001 the new tower allowed for the old to go offline. 

Facing $250,000 in repairs to leave the old pot in place as a non-functional structure. Fearing the loss of an important Iowa landmark to the scrap heap, locals banded together to move the structure to the Stanton Historical Society grounds where visitors can still view the structure today. #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryCalendar


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