Louisville WaterWorks Museum Virtual Activities - Water Tower Statues

Louisville WaterWorks Museum Virtual Activities - Statues Lesson and Challenge

Welcome to our new series Louisville Water Works! Each week we will post a new video with a lesson and an at-home challenge. We will also share directions for challenges and activities that relate to each topic. 


The original design of the Louisville Water Tower called for ten decorative urns. But in 1861, Charles Hermany, Louisville Water’s Chief Engineer, described the Tower as having ten statues of gods and goddesses that stood on the original balustrade around the base of the Tower. The original statues were made of zinc by a company from New York.

After the tornado of 1890, all but two of the statues were destroyed. The surviving statues had to be removed during repairs but were not reused. The fate of those two remains a mystery. Three years after the tornado, Louisville Water got the ten statues we now see. They were put in place in 1899, after the reconstruction of the Water Tower was completed. Only Flora is not an original statue from the 1890s. The statue was destroyed during a thunderstorm in 1980. A new one was recast and put in place in 1994.

Spring: holding a basket of flowers and smelling a flower

Summer: raising her arm and holding a sheaf of wheat and sickle

Autumn: holding a platter of grapes that symbolizes the harvest

Winter: wearing a scarf and fur while holding a lamp

Danaide: pouring out an urn which represents unending tasks. She was punished to a life of unending labor.

Hebe: pouring a pitcher and holding a cup. She was the goddess of youth and cupbearer of the gods.

Mercury: holding a flute and wearing a winged cap. He was the messenger of the gods.

Neptune: wearing a crown and holding a trident. Neptune was the God of the sea and river.

Flora: grasping a wreath of flowers. She represents the goddess of flowers.

Indian Hunter and Dog: wearing a tobacco-leaf skirt, a beaded necklace and holding a tomahawk. This statue symbolizes the Native Americans and could represent freedom and a closeness to nature.


Tell a Story: We challenge you to create a story, poem, puppet show or play using the following prompt: One day, two of the statues went missing from the Water Tower. Use your imagination to tell the story: Did they going on an adventure? Where did they end up? How did they get there? Are they friends? Do they work together?

Activity #1: Match It -- Match the word to its definition


Ring of flowers


Woven container


Musical instrument


Large flat dish


Container with a handle to pour liquid


Three-pronged spear


Farming tool with rounded blade


Worn around the neck


Lamp with flame


Tall rounded vase with a base


Activity #2: Color It

Share it!

Share your completed challenges and activities with us. Tag us @LouWaterTowerPark and use the hashtag #LouisvilleWaterWorks

Other Lessons: