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In the early days eight deep wells were sunk in the expectation that a profitable salt manufacturing business could be established. Not enough salt was found to enable any of the enterprising prospectors to make money, but their borings found flowing veins of water at depths varying between 150 and 325 feet, with pressure sufficient to elevate the water in some cases to 30 feet above the ground level.
In 1873 William T. Powers put down a well in the Arcade to a depth of 304 feet, when he struck a fine flowing stream of artesian water. He put in tubing and constructed a fountain, at which the people drank for years.
In 1883 the Phoenix Furniture company sank a well to a depth of 168 feet. This produced a stream flowing 2,000 barrels daily. Two years later another, at the Wallin tannery, 151 feet deep, yielded water which flowed to a height of 30 feet, clear, pure and cold. In 1888 a well 323 feet deep, at the northeast corner of the Hermitage block, on Michigan street, produced water which came up with force enough to carry it several feet above the ground. But the water was not palatable. The flow at first was 160 gallons a minute, or about 7,500 barrels a day.
Transcriber: Ronnie Aungst
Created: 10 December 1999