A large water tower featuring decorative woodwork with buildings in the background

J. D. Johnson’s Water Tower, 1948. (Kelley House Collection, Kelley House Photographs)

J. D. Johnson, the prolific Mendocino building contractor, built this water tower on his property just north of the Masonic Hall on Lansing Street in June 1885 to furnish water to his nearby construction and undertaking buildings.

By January 1949, the tank had not been used for a number of years, and the tower was slowly falling apart. The Masonic Order, which owned the tower at that time, gave the water tank and tower to the Mendocino Volunteer Fire Department. The Fire Department dismantled the tower and used the lumber for improvements to the Lansing Street Fire Station.

Water Towers and Windmills of Mendocino by Wally Smith – Covers the purpose and history of the water towers of Mendocino–both those gone and remaining. $15.