Lawson Tower – Scituate, Massachusetts - Atlas Obscura

Lawson Tower

A Medieval Water Tower in the Heart of Massachusetts. 


Lawson Tower holds the dubious distinction of being the most ostentatious water tower ever created. Although it functions as a simple water holding tank it is contained within a 153ft medieval tower built out of stone that bears a striking resemblance to the turrets and towers of the medieval castles that dot the European countryside.

The tower was constructed in 1902 by Thomas W. Lawson. Lawson was a prominent businessman and author who made a fortune through the stock market and copper mining around the turn of the twentieth century. The tower was constructed on his Dreamworld Estate which is located Scituate Massachusetts.

According to local legend when the water tank was originally completed (without the encasing tower) Lawson’s wife, Jenny saw it and told her husband that it ruined the view out the back windows of their home, Dreamworld Hall. Lawson went to Europe where he hired an architect to design the tower around the original tank.

At the top of the tower rest an elaborate set of bells that Lawson commissioned from the Meneely Bell Factory in Troy, New York. There are ten bells within the set, ranging in size from three hundred to three thousand pounds.

The tank inside the tower holds 276,000 gallons of water and was used by the Scituate Water Co. from its completion in 1902 until 1988. The tower is listed as an American Water Landmark and also on the National Register of Historic places. It has become a popular destination, with visitors climbing the 123 steps up to the observation deck, which offers views of the surrounding South Shore.

Know Before You Go

Located outside the town of Scituate on First Parish Road

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