Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sacred Sisterhood of Sacrosanct Cisterns

...dare ya to say that ten times fast.

The area where I live was primarily farmland a century ago and most of the open fields have since been reclaimed by the trees again. Vestiges of the farms still remain, such as these four cisterns I found hidden away in the woods.




This one has obviously seen better days. I imagine the crack was from years of freeze/thaw cycles, now there is a constant flow of water coming out of the crack, thus a convenient watering hole for the dog.

The fresh-cut boards on this almost-finished cistern enclosure would indicate it to be a new construction, I'm guessing that it gravity-feeds the farm house and barn located about a tenth of a mile down the hill from it. For those who are unfamiliar with cisterns, if they are for human use and drinking water, they need to have enclosures like this to keep bugs, animals, leaves and other potential contaminants out of them.

1 comment:

Randy said...

The one that has the cracked foundation, in the South those are called "spring houses" and traditionally, they enclosed a natural spring. They were used much like refrigerators, with folks keeping butter, etc. in them. My grandparents had one and I always thought it was creepy to have to run down to the spring house at 0600 to fetch the butter. To a child, it was really creepy to reach you hands inside that door! :) My grandparents did not have running water in their home until I was in junior high school. Can you imagine that today?