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Freeport water tower.

Smiley Face Water Tower

Field review by the editors.

Freeport, Minnesota

Freeport's century-old silvery cylindrical water tower (with conical roof) is a stretch when it comes to Smiley Face Water Tower orthodoxy. But even without a bulbous yellow sphere, the goofy presence serves to cheer the surrounding community (inspiration for Garrison Keillor's fictional town of Lake Wobegon).

The water tower dates back to 1920, built to replace a wooden tower destroyed by fire. The smiling face with bracketed grin and close-set eyes was likely a mid-1970s augmentation, and soon became part of Freeport's civic identity, appearing as part of official seals and marketing.

In 2020, townspeople mounted a fundraising effort to have the rusting landmark repaired rather than demolished (which is much less expensive).

Also see: Face That Launched A Thousand Sips | Smile Face Water Towers

Smiley Face Water Tower

4th Ave. SW, Freeport, MN
I-94 exit 140, northeast side.
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