Special Water – Special Purposes
Outside the buildings by the steps you will see a cistern pump. Cisterns were used to hold and collect soft water, which around here meant rain water. These were fed by the down spouts from the buildings. While many houses in town had cisterns and some relied on rain barrels, but cisterns held more water.
Soft water was used to rinse your hair to make it shine, rinse your dishes, wash your white clothes. It was used anytime where soft water was important. Since our water locally is full of lime we had an abundance of soft water for many years until the advent of center pivot irrigation.
This pump was one style used to bring the water up for usage and had a group of cups attached to a revolving chain. You can see this cistern on the outside wall of the church.
One of the earlier visitors to our town said she remembered when she was a small child, that regardless of the temperature outside her mother would drag her out and stick her head under the spout to rinse her newly washed hair with water from the pump. A chilling thought at best…
Photo courtesy of: McKaso Photo Art