A two-story building with cars parked in front beside a large water tower that is under construction

Reconstruction of the Mendosa Water Tower, 1976. The Deli Building, originally Homer’s Market and currently Flow Restaurant, is on the left. (Nicholas Wilson (photographer), Gift of Barry Cusick)

In January 1976, the old water tower behind Mendosa’s general merchandise store was dismantled after it was found to be structurally unsafe. Barry Cusick, Jim Coupe, and Gus Costa salvaged what they could, transported the materials, and rebuilt the tower east of The Deli building on Main Street.

Deli owner Jim Coupe told the Beacon, “we’ve been trying to maintain the historical integrity of the tower, which was built in the 1920’s.” Most of the original beams were used in the reconstruction, though some had to be cut a few feet where the ends were rotting. It is the same design as the original tower, too, but shored up to meet present-day building codes. Coupe called it a “98 per cent original.” The reconstructed tower staircase provided access to a wine-tasting shop on the second floor above The Deli.

A two-story building with upper balcony beside a large water tower

Mendosa Water Tower on Main Street, November 2021

The water tower wasn’t the only change made to this part of Main Street in 1976. The Deli building, constructed in 1947 to house Homer’s Market, was also renovated, and the Beacon described modifications to the roof. “You may recall that Homer Drinkwater had a sort of solarium upstairs over the front of his market, where he grew lots of plants in the sunshine and under UV lights. Well, that large room had a shed roof which wasn’t the greatest architectural triumph of all time. So last week that shed roof was yanked off and the gable roof that covered the main back portion of the building was extended clear to the front. As seen now when looking in a westerly direction down Main Street the long roofline is broken by the water tower which is nearing completion, and the new over-all appearance is a great improvement over what was.”

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.