By Michael Perna Jr., Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – For the second time in as many weeks, Shrewsbury has lost a historic structure. The grey, wooden tower located near 164 South Quinsigamond Avenue, which has stood there for well over 100 years, was torn down. The exact date of its construction is unknown, however John D. Adams (born 1915) recalled in a 1994 interview that he remembered the tower as a very young boy.
The original purpose of the tower – despite many different theories put forth by many people over the years – was to serve as a holding tank for water pumped from Lake Quinsigamond. The water was pumped through use of a windmill attached to the tower, then stored in tanks installed inside the structure. This was in the days before “town” water was available – the water was then sold to households in the neighborhood, who then had “running water” in the times when that was a luxury!
Mr. Adams did not remember the windmill itself, but did remember the “stubs” that held the vanes of the windmill still being in place when he was young. The tower has remained unused except for storage for many, many years. Fortunately, the current owner is preserving the attached structure that stands on the shore of the Lake, which once served as a boat house. With the tower now gone, people travelling along South Quinsigamond Avenue will no longer speculate as to what is was used for or why it was there!
Photos/collection of Michael Perna Jr.