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New book to tell history of Cedar Springs

The Cedar Springs Historical Society is working on a new book to tell the history of Cedar Springs in both word and photos, some never seen before. Sharon Jett, Director at the Museum, has shared some of the pages with us, which we will share with you over the next couple of weeks. Sharon said she hopes the book will be released in the next few months.

Pump Station Cedar Springs

From the time of Cedar Springs earliest settlers, in the mid 1800’s, local business and homes had their own pumps that took care of their need for water. Some places even had two wells that could supply water to the livestock and the home or business. In July 1884, the fire known as “Black Friday” nearly burned the whole town to the ground. Only a couple blocks on the south end of town were left standing. Fighting a fire of this magnitude with a bucket brigade was fruitless and a wake up call for the village fathers. In 1889 the Council voted to bond the city for $5000 and build a city water works.

Underneath the building a large cistern held the water pumped in from the wells. The creek was dammed up to force water into the cistern too. Men were hired to dig deep trenches to lay the water pipes in. The water mains laid along Main St. were pine logs that had the center core burned out of them. A couple of these old wooden water pipes can be seen at the Cedar Springs Museum today. They had been in the ground for about 120 years and still in good condition when excavated around 2010. The old wooden pipes were not still carrying water at that time but had been left in the ground when more modern pipes replaced them.

Wood was purchased from area farmers to power the waterworks. This station had to have someone on duty all the time to keep the steam up and the water available. When the waterworks first started operating Main Street was served but not many of the homes in town had this convenient city water. It took years of laying pipes along the side streets to each house before all the home wells were finally given up.

Fire hydrants along with a large water trough were placed on Main St. The bucket brigade was finally replaced with this modern system. An engine could be added to the pumping system to help keep a steady stream to the hydrants during a fire.

City workers installing wooden water pipes along Main St.

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One Response to “New book to tell history of Cedar Springs”

  1. Sue Fox says:

    How can I order this book? How much and to whom does the check need to be made out to??

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