||When the main line CPR railroad was put through Manitoba, the railroad
had to construct water towers along the lines. These towers held about 40,000 gallons
(about 180,000 litres) of water and would enable the locomotives to fill quickly and
frequently. In most cases, water had to be pumped into the tower from a lake or creek. The
MacGregor tower was gravity filled from Jacksons Lake, seven miles south of Sidney, some
15 miles from MacGregor.
The tower is 54 feet high and consists of two separate
structures. The 40,000 gallon inner tub is made of 3" thick cedar and is supported by
16' square timbers, 22' high in the air. The height provides the gravity pressure needed
to fill the locomotives.
The outer shell, which is not attached to the tub, simply serves as an insulated cover
for the water. By having a stove at the bottom of the building during the winter months,
the outside shell would prevent the water from freezing.
This is the only water tower known to have been moved. It was moved to the museum in
February 1987 and will be used as a water reserve during the summer operation.