This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Friday, June 4, 2010

An old pump

Most days I pass by an old pump near the tennis courts at Saint Joseph's College. I do not know how long it has been there, or why it is there, when it stopped being used, or why it has not been removed.
The base of the pump is broken, and because there is no handle, it cannot be operated.
When I was young, I recall using pumps like this. There was one in what was Birch Coulee State Park, a small park in southern Minnesota that commemorated a battle during the Sioux uprising of 1862. (It has since been demoted to a mere county park.) One of the high points of any trip to the park was playing with the pump--getting it going and getting a drink whether one was thirsty or not. Some farms must still have working hand pumps. Are there any in the area that are accessible to the public? Or have they all been disabled because of water purity concerns? Do kids today know the joys of playing with these pumps?

Near the pump is a little rise that runs north-south. At its southern end it passes near the concrete base of where the old flagpole once was located. I do not know whether this was once a path or if it served some other purpose. Anyone know? (I took the picture because the snow highlighted the rise--normally it would be almost impossible to notice in a picture.)
There are a number of old pumps around town that are used for decorative purposes. Here is one in Houston's subdivision that has found a second life.


Rachel Pulver said...

I am fairly certain there are pumps in Weston cemetery. Unsure if they work, though.

ed feicht said...

I recall using this pump when I was a student in the 60's. It was a source of 'good' water when the big system was drawing from the sulfur water wells. It was better than using the rotten egg water to bath or brush teeth.
The rise heading south roughly parallels the 3rd base line of the old varsity ball field that was subject of a post of a year ago or so.