This month saw the beginning of a historic journey, as the Dutra Tower was dismantled and moved from the west banks of the river, eventually to be taken across the river by boat and rebuilt at the new Discover the Delta Educational Center along the river, just south of Highway 12.
The Rio Vista Tower, now known as the Dutra Tower, dates back to 1904, when the property was used by the Rio Vista Canning and Packing Company. Its president was Larz P. Larson, who also became the first president of the bank of Rio Vista and the city’s first treasurer.
Sometime between 1910 and 1920, the property was sold to Del Monte and referred to as California Packing Corp. Plant #22 (Calpak). It was considered Del Monte’s premiere shed, as well as the largest asparagus cannery in the world. The tower was connected to a well on the property that pumped water into the upper and lower tanks. The top tank of the tower was used to flow the asparagus through the canary on a flume. The bottom tank was used for drinking water and other water needs.
In the early 1950s, the Blackwelder Manufacturing Company purchased the property and did not utilize the top tank of the tower. The bottom tank was used for drinking water.
In the mid-1960s, the tower sprang a considerable number of leaks that were too expensive to fix. It was at this time that the North Rio Vista Sewer District was formed and became the new supplier of water for Blackwelder Manufacturing. Since that time, the tanks of the Dutra Tower have remained empty.
In 1990, the Dutra family took over the property, and in 2008, with the approval of the city of Rio Vista, donated the tower to the Discover the Delta Foundation to use as a future Delta landmark.
Source: Discover the Delta Foundation Click here to read more about the tower's journey