For half a century now, travelers on busy Interstate 94 have been greeted by the smiley-faced Freeport water tower. Built nearly 100 years ago, the tower first got its face in the early 1970s, when painting a face was suggested by a few of the city employees.
Townspeople liked it so much that they put it on the city’s official seal.
“It took on a life of its own,” said Mike Eveslage, mayor of the Stearns County town of 670 residents about 100 miles northwest of the Twin Cities. “That’s our landmark. Honestly, that’s probably our claim to fame.”