Elkhorn 2017

Friends of the Elkhorn Water Tank – Elkhorn Water Tank Restoration

The Elkhorn Water Tank is the only remaining water tank in this southwest Montana community. The water tank was built by the Northern Pacific Railway in 1890 to serve the silver mining boomtown of Elkhorn. Most water tanks were dismantled in the 1950s and 1960s after steam engines were replaced by diesel locomotives. The Elkhorn water tank is the only remaining standard plan Northern Pacific tank of that era known to still exist, and it is in the original location.

The History Foundation provided funds in 2012 to the Friends of the Elkhorn Water Tank to stabilize and brace the tank with three large beams to prevent imminent collapse. For the grant project in 2017, contractors replaced the roof and installed a new floor on top of the timber columns and beams. The contractors re-erected the original redwood wall planks (stays) and re-positioned the metal bands. Finally, contractors installed fire resistant wood shakes, resulting in a roof that should be stronger and more resistant than the original.

Photo 1: After Stabilization Project
Photo 2: During Deconstruction
Photo 3: After Reconstruction