Of all the locations that inspired the stories, the Derry Standpipe stands (literally) above them all.
This is the place that Stan Uris first encountered Pennywise.
Stan spent a lot of time bird watching and he had a favorite bench that he sat on where he could watch and identify birds as they came to a birdbath.
Stan’s bench is very real and here it is:
We sat on the bench as Stan did, and looked over first at the Bird Bath (which is also very real):
…and then turned to our left to see the Standpipe:
The Standpipe and area around it as described in “IT” are exactly as we found them.
It was as if we had actually stepped into Derry, Maine and the pages of “IT”.
The Standpipe is an imposing, unique and beautiful structure built in 1897 and still in use today!
Originally people could walk up the stairs to the promenade deck at the top which offered beautiful views of Bangor, but not long after a 12 year old boy died in 1940, falling between the stairs and the inner tank to the concrete floor 25 feet below, the Standpipe closed to visitors.
I was not until fairly recently that the opportunity for the general public to actually climb up the Standpipe was renewed.
The Standpipe opens 4 times a year now – Spring, Summer, Fall & Winter for one day each season.
We timed our trip to coincide with the May Tour, not wanting to miss the opportunity to actually walk in Stan’s footsteps up the staircase of the Standpipe.
It was eerily familiar to me as the heavy wooden door was opened and I felt like I had been here before. (Thanks to Stephen King, I virtually had.)
It was incredible to experience the very real inspiration for the Derry Standpipe, and we made our way up the stairs to the top, trying to peek into the inner tank as we ascended.
The most frightening part for me was remembering the description in “IT’ about the platform over the water and the kids that had drowned in there. It was all the more frightening just getting tiny glimpses of what was inside, and seeing the wooden platform that would look over the dark, deep water.
The windows on the side offered a view of the contrasting outside world of light:
…and the view from the top was spectacular!
From here, you could look down on Stan’s bird bath and his bench (hidden in the trees to the right).
For a brief moment, I felt the presence of Pennywise looking over my shoulder, and I shivered.