Water Tower

Glen Foerd

Water Tower

Bensalem, Pennsylvania 19020, United States

Created By: Glen Foerd on the Delaware


In the 19th century, this stone water tower supported a large wooden tank, which held enough water for the Glen Foerd estate as well as some neighboring homes. Water was pumped up to the tank by a steam pump. After the tank was removed, it served as an observation tower, and is in need of much repair.

Macalester, the original owner of Glen Foerd, was a resourceful man and successful financier. When he purchased the 84 acres of land he named Torresdale, Macalester divided it into several plots and called upon relatives and peers to settle in the area. The water tower and gas house served not only the Macalester’s estate, but the surrounding homes as well. Other residents could purchase water and gas from Macalester, making Torresdale an attractive enclave. Even a mayor, Edwin Fitler--after whom Philadelphia’s Fitler Square and Torresdale’s Fitler Street are named--joined the community.

North of the tower and across the Poquessing Creek, you’ll see an apartment complex. That land was once part of another entrepreneurial endeavor at Glen Foerd: the farm. Glen Foerd’s Foerderer family was deeply enthusiastic about business and product performance, as were their in-laws, the Tonners. The Foerderers were renowned for their leather company, Vici Kid, which used revolutionary techniques in the tanning process. The Tonners were hosiery moguls. Glen Foerd Farms was the brainchild of William Tonner, husband of Florence Foerderer Tonner. The claim to fame for the farm was its award-winning Ayrshire cattle and milk. You can learn more about both of these businesses at the Rathskeller tour stop.

This point of interest is part of the tour: Glen Foerd


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