Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The New Brigden water tower is a Municipal Historic Resource occupying an approximately 7 hectare lot in the Hamlet of New Brigden. The property features an approximately 13-meter tall water tower erected in 1925, located beside an abandoned rail-bed. The eight sided wooden tower is painted brown.
The new Brigden water tower is valued for its association with the foundation and early development of the community. The Canadian National Railway constructed the water tower in 1925 as part of the branch line they put through the area. Railway service immediately increased the types of services available in the community. New Brigden soon became a regional service centre. The water tower supplied water to the steam locomotives passing through the area, but the community was also able to use the water to make ice in the adjacent outdoor skating rink and later on, ice in a curling rink.
The New Brigden water tower is also valued as an engineering work. Constructed almost entirely of wood, the outer structure is sheathed on the outside with shiplap siding and on the inside with a type of insulating fiberboard. A tank was held about 5.45 meters above ground level and was laid on crisscrossed joists supported by a timber substructure. The substructure consists of twelve 30cm by 36cm by 4 meter vertical timbers mounted on concrete pilings and cross braced with 15cm by 15cm timbers mortised into the vertical timbers. The only metal used was in the heavy steel bands surrounding and holding the vertical staves of the tank together and large steel bolts holding the substructure together. The concrete pilings are 50 cm square at the top, extend 60 centimeters above the ground and are level with the foundation of the outer structure. A unique water-level measuring device consisted of an external metal ball about 0.6 meters in diameter and attached to a float inside the water tank. As the tank filled the ball would rise above the water tower – it could be easily observed more than 1½ km away, where the pump was situated.
The New Brigden water tower is also valued as a local landmark. Constructed almost entirely of wood the approximately, the 13-meter structure is the tallest feature of the new Brigden skyline. It is the oldest structure in the community and the last prominent reminder of the settlement period.
Source: Special Areas Board Order 09/09.
The heritage value of the New Brigden Water Tower resides in the following character-defining elements:
those elements reflecting its association with the foundation and early settlement of New Brigden, such as:
- the color,
- the cedar shingles and the horizontal shiplap wood siding with vertical trim at the corners,
- fenestration pattern and style,
- the structure’s orientation on its lot, near the former rail bed; and
those elements associated with its status as an engineering work, such as:
- the superstructure,
- the use of wood, particularly heavy timber beams used in the tank supports; and
those elements associated with its status as a local landmark, such as,
- the structure’s form and massing, particularly the octagonal shape of the tower and the hip roof.