Missing piece of Palmer's iconic water tower to go back on top

Published: Oct. 6, 2017 at 3:53 PM AKDT
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Down for decades, a piece of Palmer's history is returning to its original destination.

"It’s cool. Everybody knows where it is," Sharon Powder said about the iconic Palmer water tower.

Since 2003, the water tower has been missing a piece.

"I’ve had quite a few of the old timers come in and say, 'I’m glad it’s going up. I never thought I’d see it go up, before I passed,'" Kelly Turney said.

Turney is the co-owner of Alaska Picker, an antique business in Palmer. The water tower sits in the shop's backyard.

"If you take a look at anything to do with Palmer, you see the tower," he said.

The tower's finial flew off in a storm in 2003. Since then, the copper ball has been bouncing through the community.

Eventually, it landed in Turney's hands for safe keeping until this Saturday, when the plan is to put the ball back on top.

The tower was built in the mid-1930s, and the finial is an original.

While there are other water towers in the state, Turney said the one in Palmer is rare.

"There is not another water tower in Alaska that has its own city’s name on it," he claimed.

Some say the finial is an essential piece of the community's charm.

"Everybody knows about it," said Powder. "It’s just there. It’s just part of the town."

For Turney, it's about preserving history and putting things back where they belong.

"It’s one of those things that if it sits on a shelf, or sits in a garage, it can be forgotten, and that’s part of what we do here," Turney said. "We find those pieces – we find them a home. This one was pretty easy."