Before the city hall and police station were built on West Henderson Street the main
waterworks pump station was located there. When the building was first built it
contained a coal fired furnace to provide steam to power the steam engine that pumped
the water throughout the cityís water system. I remember my friend Lonnie Chasteen
telling about going to work for the city as a young man in the 1920ís and shoveling
coal to fire that furnace.
A pipe came out of the side of the building at a height of about 10 to 12 ft and went
over the sidewalk, was attached to a post at the curbside, and extended about 4 feet
out over the street. There was an elbow on the end with a section of fire hose
hanging from it to fill water tanks. Many of the local farmers had shallow wells at
the time which would go dry during the summer months, so the farmers had large water
tanks they would put on their wagon and come to town to get water. During the summer
it was not unusual to see several farmers with their wagons lined up waiting to fill
their water tanks.
As you turn off West Henderson onto North Buffalo street you will see a rock wall on
the right, between Henderson Street and Buffalo Creek. Most of that is petrified
wood. At each end is a built up area where a light fixture once was.
At the west end of the waterworks building, where the police station parking lot is now
located, was a flower garden with a goldfish pond in the center. There was a low
rock wall by the sidewalk, going from the west end of the building out to the present
wall going down beside Buffalo Street, with an opening about midway with two steps
going up to the level of the flower garden. This wall and the sides of the goldfish
pond were made of petrified wood also.
There was a sidewalk going all the way around the pond to make it convenient to walk
around and look at all the goldfish and the water lilies.
In the center of the pond was a tower consisting of four legs built of rock, each
about 3 feet apart and about 4 feet high, with a flat platform on top. On top of
this platform was a small rock house which you can see in the photo. There were
little doors and windows in the house, but I do not ever remember seeing a roof on it.
Mother & I often walked to town and as we passed by the old waterworks building I
always wanted to stop and see the fish. Mother usually agreed, I think, because it
gave her a chance to sit down on the park bench there and rest a bit.
You may contact John by email at:
The author sitting on side of gold fish pond.
Picture taken spring of 1948.
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