WDAY: The News Leader

Published November 10, 2011, 07:16 PM

Casselton Tower of Cans getting permanent home

Casselton, ND (WDAY TV) - Rothsay has its Prairie Chicken. Frazee, a Turkey. In Casselton they're proud of their Tower of Cans.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Rothsay has its Prairie Chicken. Frazee, a Turkey. In Casselton they're proud of their Tower of Cans.

Since the early 1900's the tower of cans has stood on Casselton's southwest side of town. For decades, it has attracted second looks from those headed west on 94. The tower has been moved a few times, and now supporters want a permanent home for the piece of the past.

It’s no Eifel Tower or Taj Mahal, but just off Interstate 94, it's all about Casselton's Cans. Today volunteers started dismantling the Tower of Cans which has stood perched on the prairie of Casselton since the early 1900's.

Alan Runck – Casselton Volunteer: “This was Old Ten; they called it the old Red Trail.”

The owner of an old Sinclair Gas Station had the idea.

Alan Runck: “And he could not find a place to put the cans to he put a fence around his windmill and started piling them up.”

Out of the tower today, the cans cascaded out. So did the years of rust. Old Quaker Oil and and Sinclair cans. After many debates on what to do with the tower of cans, volunteers hope to take this tower down, and find a permanent home for it. It is after all, a page from Casselton's history book.

Wes Bruesch – Casselton Volunteer: “My kids are growing up and they won't know what an oil can is, just from a picture book.”

Back in the day long before Interstate 94, Old Highway 10 here was one of the few ways west. Cars had to stop a lot for gas and oil. Back then, a can of oil was ten cents. What started as an oil can graveyard. Today, getting a second look.

Alan Runck: “One of the few can pile structures of the world.”

It's not art. No leaning tower of Pisa. But the can tower is iconic. And so, those cans that kept the old Model T's and Edsels running in Cass County will be given a new home; a tower of power.

Some people in Casselton would like to see a replica park for visitors featuring an old gas station and the oil can tower and souvenirs.