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Coffee Pot Water Tower.

Coffee Pot and Cup Water Towers

Field review by the editors.

Stanton, Iowa

One of the few Big Coffee Pot towns with a semi-legitimate coffee claim-to-fame, Stanton was the birthplace of actress Virginia Christine, who was briefly famous as "Mrs. Olson," a spokeswoman for Folgers coffee in TV commercials and on the sides of coffee cans. She'd left Iowa years before her rise to fame, but she returned for Stanton's centennial celebration in 1970 as its parade Grand Marshal. Stanton celebrated the connection, along with its own Scandinavian coffee roots, by transforming its 1921 water tower into the World's Largest Coffee Pot.

The Swedish-style pot, painted with decorative hearts and flowers, holds 50,000 gallons (or 800,000 cups of coffee). for decades it sat atop a 90-foot-tall tower, a sign at its base proudly listing its dimensions as 35 feet tall, 20 feet wide, with a 10-foot spout and a 15-foot handle. The town embraced it as a civic symbol, plastering the World's Largest Coffee Pot on everything from post cards to its police cars.

Mrs. Olson died in 1996, but her hometown fame only grew when Stanton erected a 96-foot-tall coffee cup-and-saucer water tower to supplement the coffee pot. Its capacity dwarfs the pot, holding 150,000 gallons of water ready for percolation. It won the "Tank of the Year" award in 2000 from the Steel Plate Manufacturer's Association.

By 2013, however, the coffee pot was no longer needed as a water tower, and Stanton acknowledged that it would probably be too expensive to maintain. In May 2015 the tower was taken down, but the giant coffee pot was saved and mounted at ground level, so that coffee-lovers can pose next to it for photos.

Also see: Big Coffee Pots

Coffee Pot and Cup Water Towers

Thorn Ave., Stanton, IA
From US Hwy 34 turn south onto Hwy 120 and drive into downtown. Turn left onto Thorn St. Drive east three blocks. You'll see the Coffee Pot on the left.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

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