I first learned that water witching (or dowsing) would work for me when we built our second house on Algoma Avenue. We had driven a well, but did not have a good flow of water.
One day, my husband Kelly’s brother, Frank Covey, came to visit. He asked if we had had the well wicked. We said we had not even considered it. He cut a Y-shaped willow branch, took the upper part in each hand and the bottom part sticking up. Where we had driven our well he got only a little pull, but in other areas it would bend way down toward the ground.
Everyone there tried it, and to my complete surprise the bark would twist in my hands as it pulled toward the ground. We drove a well where there was a strong pull and had a very good well.
The word spread about what had happened and I began to get calls to help people find water. I consider it a gift from God. I have helped many get good wells throughout the years.
One time a well-driving rig was at a house and had gone real deep but did not get water. They called me three times before I felt like I should go. Finally I went and where they had drilled I did no get any pull, but in two other areas I got a strong pull. They moved the rig and soon had a very good flowing well.
One time I got a call from a man who lived in Grand Rapids. He had bought property in Algoma and asked me to meet him there so he would know where there was a good area for a well before he built his house.
The times I have done this are quite numerous.
The last time I did it was about four years ago since I moved to Richter Place in Rockford. Some people who lived in Belding had built a house up on a hill and wanted me to come and find the best area for a well. There were three areas in their yard that had a strong pull. All I asked is each time they let me know if they got a good well. At this place, they called me later and said they almost had an artesian well. Many neighbors were there that day to see what happened.
I thank God that he has given me this ability. He has supplied all our needs, including wonderful streams of water for our use.
I know there are quite a few people who do this also and some can even tell how deep the well will be. But I do not have the ability to have this work for me.
Eloise Covey was a long-time resident of Algoma Township and has contributed several articles to the Post and the Algoma Historical Society newsletter.