Ocotillo Water Tower

Ocotillo Water Tower
Photo by Elise Hird

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

New article int the Chandler Republic

Thanks Elise, for the heads up on this article that is scheduled to appear. http://www.azcentral.com/community/chandler/articles/0219cr-watertower0220.html
Some of the follow up posts just tear my heart out. Above is one example of our history that was torn down to make way for soccer fields and parking lots. I wonder how the kids who went to this school back in the 1930's felt when it got torn down. I'm glad I got to see it and photograph it, but will my grandkids think that Chandler was always filled with red tile roofs and hairsprayed soccer moms? Why are we in such a hurry to throw things away? Does it prove how successful we are that we don't need to save anything? Isn't this the real reason that the rest of the world doesn't understand Americans? Our disposable society will be exactly what we make of it.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Here's the latest...
The February 2008 edition of the Chandler Historical Society Newsletter contained a Save the Water Tower article that included info on an account opened at Arizona Bank and Trust were tax deductible donations may be made to the effort. They ask you to call the museum for information.

The Historical Society also encourages interested parties to write to the City of Chandler to express concern and show support for the water tower at

City of Chandler Mayor & Council
P.O. Box 4008
Mail Stop 603
Chandler, AZ 85225

In order to contact the Chandler Historical Society,
email- chandlermuseum@aol.com

A few of us did go out to the park last Saturday. It wasn't a big soccer day, but there were some baseball games going on. We collected about a hundred signatures and had some interesting conversations with people from all over the country.


Friday, February 8, 2008

Saving the Tower takes work and money

Okay, this is a quick post because it's late, but here's the scoop. Some of us who lived in Chandler (or near it anyway) heard that the water tower was going to be torn down. This made us sad. We felt that the Arizona Republic article misrepresented several sides to the story. Certainly this wouldn't have happened if the author had access to all information. For purposes of full disclosure, the author of this blog is related to the Bogle family who own the water tower, however has no financial or other say in the matter.
The Bogle family has offered the tower to the City of Chandler. They suggested that they would love to have the small plot of land that it sits on if the family would tear down the tower first. Due to the LARGE amount of complaints that the family was receiving and the cost of restoration of the tower, the family had agreed to tear it down.
With the onset of soccer season, the demolition has been postponed. Some of us who remember the agricultural roots of Chandler, would like to try to use this time to raise money to fund the restoration of the tower and save a little piece of history. We figure if only 5% of the residents of Chandler would be willing to donate $10, we might be able to get others (wink, wink) to make larger donations in order to fulfill this mission. We look forward to your help and a long-standing water tower.
Just for information, I am an elementary school teacher, currently residing in Phoenix and working on this project in my "spare" time. If I seem to get lax or fall behind, I apologize. It's not a lack of caring, just time. For more coherent, not typed at 1am information, see the previous posts originally posted at jaustme.blogspot. Thanks

Reprinted from Jan 12

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Water Tower Update

Ok, Mom talked to JC and he said that the window of opportunity for tearing down the water tower is blocked until March because they can not tear it down during soccer season. Who knew that those thousands of van driving, gazebo toting soccer moms would come in handy for historic preservation? So, the way I figure it is we have at least a month and a half to get 3% of the population of Chandler to donate $10 to save the tower. Everyone should be feeling nice and happy about living in Chandler again now that they've captured the rapist. So, maybe we should try to start the three people thing. Like I'll ask 3 people to donate $10 and ask them to ask 3 people, etc. Except, I'm going to ask everyone who reads this blog to donate and ask 3 people, so it shouldn't take as long, unless of course only 3 people read this blog. This can really grow exponentially. Let's say maybe 9 people read this. If you ask 3 people, we're already at 27, if they each ask 3, we're at 81 and if they all ask 3, we're at 243, then 729. Add those up and in 4 rounds we're already at 1,089 and we only need a total of 10,000 to save the water tower. By the way, the next bump would be to 2,187 and a total of 3,276. We'd be a third of the way there. See how easy this is! Only $10 to save a piece of history so that future generations do not forget that one day, there were farms in Chandler Arizona. Cotton comes from fields that once filled the space where they live and play.


This is my official notification that I am starting a foundation called "Save the History". Either its first mission will be to save the Ocotillo water tower, or it will be in memory of the water tower. We are losing so much of the short little history that Arizona has a state of the United States. There are already many foundations in order to pursue and secure the stability of the the prehistory of this area. I would like to be an instrument for saving things like the old black school that was recently torn down.
When we found out that the complaints about the water tower in Ocotillo were such that it was going to be torn down, my daughter Emma began to ask what she could do to help. At 9 years old, her plan was to sell lemonade to raise the $100,000 or so dollars that it would take to pay for improvements on the tower. Her battlecry was, "Save the water tower, save the history." While her sweet little plan was more than I was doing, I couldn't actually see it amounting to success, nor did I really want it to.
You see, I can't see what is so wrong with the tower the way it is. If it were a public safety hazard, I would say, definitely fix its instability. However, who is to say that the fading red paint is unsightly? I think it is beautiful. It reminds me of a simpler time when children swam in ditches without permission and cotton and corn grew down Alma School road, rather than the sprouting houses and restaurants. This may seem a little strange coming from a member of the family who sold the land in the first place, but of course, I had no control over that.
I'm not a fanatic who thinks that zero population is the answer and that people should crawl back into caves where they belong, but just every once in a while, could we leave a few things the way they are and recognize the beauty that just is? Do we really need to tear all of the old things down and replace them with shiny newness? Are we so afraid that someone might get a glimpse off the golf course and see that we gave away our agricultural roots?
In addition, I have many other places that I have fallen in love with over the 37 years that I have lived in this valley. There is a cozy little spot on Scottsdale rd. that I haven't driven by lately and I wonder if the tiny little white cottages still stand. I still cringe as I drive by the corners where once beautiful homes stood and see the vacancy of whatever stands there now. If you have any desire to help me save the history for those who haven't seen it and who may never get a chance to, let me know.