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Tuckerman Water Tower

The Tuckerman Water Tower, located on the south end of Front Street in Tuckerman (Jackson County), was constructed in 1935 and installed with assistance from the Public Works Administration (PWA), a New Deal public relief agency. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 22, 2007.

As the United States struggled with the Great Depression of the 1930s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration enacted the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) to ease the effects of businesses closing. The act included an organization called the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works (or Public Works Administration), which was created on June 16, 1933, to help finance federal construction projects and create jobs.

The City of Tuckerman decided to take advantage of the PWA funding for construction of a badly needed waterworks. The federal agency awarded Tuckerman a $38,067 loan and $11,862 grant on July 18, 1934, for the project, which was expected to cost $49,929. Alexander Allaire, the state PWA engineer, announced on September 19, 1934, that the project would open for bids. The request for proposals said that the project “consists of the drilling, casing, developing, and testing of a deep well; and the furnishing and placing of 2, 4, 6 and 8-inch water mains and specials, fire hydrants, valves, service connections, elevated tank, pump house, booster pumps and other miscellaneous items.”

The Arkansas Gazette reported on September 27 that “the C. G. McEachin Construction Company has received the contract for the construction of a waterworks system at Tuckerman. Its bid was $42,038. Work will be started in a few days and completed in 120 days.” PWA records indicate that actual construction began on January 17, 1935, and the project, which included installation of the water tower built by the Pittsburgh-Des Moines Steel Company, was completed on April 30. The Tuckerman Water Tower still serves the city’s residents in the twenty-first century and stands as a testament to the impact of the New Deal in Arkansas.

For additional information:
Hope, Holly. “An Ambition to be Preferred: New Deal Recovery Efforts and Architecture in Arkansas, 1933–1943.” Little Rock, Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, 2006. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/News-and-Events/publications (accessed January 17, 2019).

Information on Public Works Administration projects from the files of the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Little Rock, Arkansas.

“Little Rock Firm to Construct Tuckerman Water System.” Arkansas Gazette, September 27, 1934, p. 2.

“Notice to Contractors.” Arkansas Gazette, September 18, 1934, p. 13.

Wilcox, Ralph. “Tuckerman Water Tower,” National Register of Historic Places registration form. On file at Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/National-Register-Listings/PDF/JA0518.nr.pdf (accessed January 17, 2019).

“Will Receive Bids on Two Projects.” Arkansas Gazette, September 19, 1934, p. 9.

Mark K. Christ
Central Arkansas Library System

Last Updated 1/17/2019

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