Friday, 23 July 2021 17:24

Auto Body Shop to Fix Up Former Foundry

Written by Reggie Ellis, The Sun-Gazette


...Lubbock, TX, and Nampa, ID.


And in 1969, then-CEO Appling built the company’s headquarters on Spruce Avenue that transformed Waterman from a small domestic business into a global enterprise. The new facility allowed the company to make larger gates from 60 to 144 square inches wide.


By 1990, Waterman was Tulare County’s largest private employer with 470 employees. The company was such a large part of Exeter’s history that Exeter, A Festival of Arts commissioned a mural in its honor. The mural, titled “From Foundry to Field,” was painted by artist Ken Cardoza on the north wall of what is now Osborn Mortgage in 1998.


By 2001, the company owned manufacturing plants in Lubbock; Memphis, TN; Boise, ID; Garden City, KS; Grand Island, NE; and in Cairo, Egypt. Waterman had thousands of employees and a worldwide sales force with representatives in 47 countries.


Waterman remains one of the most recognized names in water control manufacturing in the world. Their products have been used by Disneyland, Universal Studios, Suez Canal, Nile River, Cincinnati Zoo and countless others across the globe.


Operated by Waterman Industries, the foundry is where the irrigation manufacturing made its moldings and castings for water control gates and valves.


The plant was shut down in 2002 as Waterman was trying to cut costs for the worldwide leader in irrigation equipment manufacturing. More than 50 employees were laid off and the work was transferred to...