By Judy Reed
One of Cedar Springs oldest natural landmarks has been restored.
Cedar Springs was named after the naturally flowing springs and Cedar trees that dotted the area. One of the first settlements was reported to have been a tavern near Cedar Creek, and nearby were some Cedar trees and a large spring. It is thought to have been behind the current firebarn on Maple Street, where a large spring still flows. Or at least it did, until a year and half ago, when it was capped to avoid contamination from the old foundry that was being torn down.
Members of the Cedar Springs City Council thought it was important to get the well uncapped, but there were costly steps that needed to be taken to get the work done properly. With the same economic problems facing the city that faces other municipalities across the state, they weren’t sure they would get it done in this year’s budget. But volunteers stepped forward to make sure it happened.
The spring was uncapped Friday, October 2, and the well formally dedicated.
“This is a project that is dear to the hearts of several council members since it was capped 1-1/2 years ago,” noted Cedar Springs City Manager Christine Burns.
Mayor Linda Hunt showed a photo of the well from the book The Cedar Springs Story by Sue Harrison and Donna DeJonge, and told the story of the first settlement. “It reminds us that it’s a place in history for us,” said Hunt. “It’s a pleasure to see the well uncapped again. It looks like it did long ago.”
Hunt also presented a “You make a difference” award to Craig Merlington, of North Kent Well Pump, for the work he did on the well.
“This has been a long time coming, and is a huge passion for many,” noted Burns.
Though many people say they remember drinking from the well, it is labeled as “non-potable.” The city hopes to eventually turn it into a fountain.