Back in time: Stillwater’s spring water

A bird's-eye view of Main Street in Stillwater around 1880, the year when Stillwater Water Company came into existence and received a 30-year franchise contract with the city. (Photo collected by photographer John Runk and used courtesy of the Washington County Historical Society)

A bird’s-eye view of Main Street in Stillwater around 1880, the year when Stillwater Water Company came into existence and received a 30-year franchise contract with the city. (Photo collected by photographer John Runk and used courtesy of the Washington County Historical Society)

 

BY BRENT PETERSON – GAZETTE COLUMNIST

There is a saying that “still waters run deep,” and in this area, they also run pure.

The Stillwater water supply has consistently been one of high quality and purity. A tradition since nearly the beginning of the city. There is a move now to have the city take on the water department, and there are many who are not sure if that is the best way to go.

Springs out from the sandstone cliffs are ones that helped ease the thirst of many of the early settlers. The first commercial water supply was located between Myrtle and Chestnut Streets on South Third, and it was owned and operated by Calvin Hathaway, a blacksmith.

Hathaway’s first thoughts were just to supply his blacksmith shop, but he later sold water to adjoining buildings and supplied a sand pipe for horse-drawn tank wagons. …

Want to read more about Stillwater’s water supply? Read Brent Peterson’s full column in the Friday, Nov. 22 edition of the Gazette, available at newsstands through Nov. 26 or at our office, 1931 Curve Crest Blvd. Peterson is executive director of the Washington County Historical Society in Stillwater. His column appears in the Gazette each Friday.

up arrow