We Have A Corn Cob. They Have Ketchup. Theirs Is For Sale.
Ah yes, Rochester's Corn Cob. It's pretty neat, and as far as I know, we are one of the only places, if not the only place that has one. The Corn Cob Water tower is part of the old Libby Foods facility, now Seneca Foods and serves not only as a conversation piece but a landmark. I never took the time to think of how odd it must be that we have an ear of corn up in the sky until a friend of mine flew into Rochester to spend some time with my family. I picked her up at RST and the first thing she asked is, "What are those balls in the sky?" I had to think about what she was asking, and then it clicked, oh, "Water towers." We laughed as I explained them, they must not have any where she lives, and then she saw the ear of corn. I can remember her saying, "That's quite interesting." She snapped photos from the passenger side of my car as we drove past it. It was just a few short minutes after her landing in our fine city that she stumbled upon the corn cob, something I have taken for granted all this time I've lived here.
Our corn cob watertower may not be for sale, but there is something similar for sale in Illinois. The, 'Catsup' water tower is now on the market for the low, low price of $ 200,000, and you could own the catsup warehouse next to it plus the huge catsup bottle for a grand total of $ 500,000, I'm not sure if they are accepting any other negotiations or offers, but thats what they are listed as. The water tower, as pictured on the catsupbottle.com website is below:
'The World's Largest Catsup Bottle' is what they call it, it is located in Collinsvillie, Illinois. It is 170 feet tall and was built in 1949 by the W.E. Caldwell Company for the G. S. Suppiger catsup bottling plant, who bottled the Brooks Old Original Rich & Tangy Catsup depicted in this water tower. It's even on the National Register of Historic Places.
In comparison, according to RochesterMN.com, our corn cob water tower is 51 feet tall and has stood over the cannery since 1931. The water tower can hold 50,000 gallons of water and represents a true ear of corn as to the number or rows of kernels.
In an odd way, they could go together, have you ever put ketchup on your corn? Good Stuff! This brings me to a question. What exactly is the difference between ketchup and catsup? I had to investigate this great mystery.
Heinz tomato ketchup was first marketed as 'Heinz Tomato Catsup,' but the spelling of it was changed so that it stood out from the competition. A competitor,Del Monte soon followed suit and changed the spelling of their 'catsup,' in 1988, after finding that American's liked ketchup better than catsup. Hunt's also joined in on this bandwagon. [Source: Diffen]
Diffen also claims that both words are derived from the Chinese ke-tsiap, a pickled fish sauce.
Well, now we know that. It's pretty much the same thing.
There are really some cool water towers located just about everywhere, none of course, as cool as our corn cob, and barely any for sale, like the catsup, but if you're curious as to what is out there in the great beyond, here is a fun link to visit: