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Where The Water Ran Cool And Clear

By Col. Carlis B. Wilson

The Water Was Cool, Clear and Good Tasting
In the southwest section of Adair County where I was born and reared there was very few ponds because the water was in abundance. Just a few people needed wells because spring supplied the water for the homes of people in that section of the county.

All springs, branches and creeks that run freely and most never run dry, even in the hot summer time. Most of these streams of water had no name that I ever knew of, with the exception of Harrods Fork Creek. A lot of the springs flowed out of a hillside and the basin was near the entrance of the spring. Some had formed basins for dipped the water and filling buckets for the family use. The water was cool, clear and good tasting . Sometime leaves and sticks from the trees would fall into the basins and cause the water to become bitter. However a good cleaning would restore the freshness as soon as the water cleared up.

Next To The Spring
There was a lot of activity near the springs. One spring that I remember was about 25 yards from the back porch of the house. Between the house and the spring was the wash yard, with the large black kettle and fire pit near by was the close lines to the left was the fence that separated the barnyard from the backyard and wash area. Some time the fence was used to hang large items to dry when the wash was done. Just inside the barn lot was the wood yard, running between the wood yard and barn was a stream of water from the spring, it furnished water for the farm animals.

Soda Pop In The Stream
In those days there was no refrigeration so the spring became the cooler for the butter and milk. There was a lot of shade trees around the spring area which helped keep the water and food cool. Some time when company was coming there would be soda pop placed in the stream of water for days to chill the pop before drinking?

Wading and Exploring
Harrods Fork Creek was a place where I spent a lot of time, playing in the water and fishing. If was about one half mile from the house to the creek, most was not deep enough to swim in, just a good place for small children to have fun wading and exploring. There was deeper water north of the bridge at Highway 61. I remember churches having baptizing in the creek about .3 of a mile from the highway, where the water was waist deep.

Fall Out
We didn't need to worry about fall out or acid rain back then, most spring fed water ways were considered to be drinkable. However I understand in most parts of our country today water is considered to be contaminated and should not be consumed without first testing for health purposes.


This story was posted on 2003-07-01 13:48:41
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