Ask kids today if they ever heard of a water pump and chances are it is just another reminder of the past on the rural farms. I remembered my grandparents having one when I was a child as they used it to water their large garden smack dab in the middle of downtown Cowansville, Quebec. I remember hot summer mornings where everything would be silent and you knew my Grandmother had begun her day with the sound of the water pump being cranked. I swear it was the coldest sweetest water ever tasted and I would put my hand under the flowing water as it came out and will never feel such a great experience in my life.
My grandmother used to tell me we children had it easy as in the olden days there were shallow wells dug on waterfront properties and then
pumps were always a keen interest any time we kids were able to visit them,’ Doug remembers. ‘We, of course, were only interested in playing in the water. As long as the arm pumped water, I was happy. I didn’t care how it worked, it just mattered that it pumped water.’
From as far back as anyone can remember (possibly back to the 1800’s), that old water well served as a public source of drinking water and thus as a public gathering place. People would come from miles around to fill their cans and containers with what is remembered as “the best tasting water you could drink.”
So far as I can find, no one knows just when the well came to be.
It just always was.
Wendy LeBlancMy Dad, Ken Robertson, often mentioned the water pump at Central School, but other than a poor-quality photo from the newspaper, he never found a good picture of it. He would have loved to see this. The pump certainly wasn’t there when I went to Central for Grade 5 in 1958.
Linda Gallipeau-JohnstonNo pump when I was there but lots of fence! What is the wooden path way down to the pump I wonder – is that the street sidewalk?
Doug B. McCartenAt least the Town will know where they can access fresh water when the Town intake becomes polluted and is of no further value lol!
Many of you are old enough to remember the old manual water pumps. To get them going you had to pour some water in the top and pump, and pump, and pump until water started to finally come out the spout. As long as you kept pumping, the water kept coming. If you ever stopped pumping the water would go back down to the level of the well and you would have to repeat the process to get water to start flowing out the spout again.
If you grew up on a farm, you may have used it a thousand times. I still remember pumping the water, the feel of the iron handle, the resistance of the water being pulled up to the spout. I still remember hearing the churning beneath, echoing up the shaft as I pumped, then hearing the gurgle of water rising up the spout and finally pouring out. I loved pumping the water. I felt like a pioneer. I imagined I was one. And I drank out of it, too. The water tasted sweet.
Pumps were usually installed near the house or mid-point between the house and barn, so that water could be carried a minimum distance. Deluxe cabins and homes might even have the pump installed inside in the kitchen, so the family would have “running water” of sorts. The earliest pumps were hand-pumped only. For each stroke of the lever, a gush of water flowed from the spout.The earliest pumps were hand-pumped only. For each stroke of the lever, a gush of water flowed from the spout.
Pumps were usually installed near the house or mid-point between the house and barn, so that water could be carried a minimum distance. Deluxe cabins and homes might even have the pump installed inside in the kitchen, so the family would have “running water” of sorts.
Caroline AndersonI loved our old pump beside our house. Was sad when we did some renovations and redid the pipe to the well it was taken out. Our laneway loop was also taken out. As a kid, I use to go out and just see if I was strong enough to pump it till the water came out.
Karen LloydI remember getting my tongue stuck on ours……watch this lol
Stuart McIntoshWe had one at the well near the garden and a small cistern pump in the house.. finally got running water in the house in 1971.
Rose ParsonsThis is all we had to get our water when a young girl on the farm . It supplied a family of 8 people and all of the annimal as well. We also had a small pump on a stand in the kitchen that would bring the rain water collected up from our cistern which would be heated for doing dishes scrubbing and the likes as well
Barb DanisI remember having to use them we had one inside and one outside.
Barb LemayYes – at our public school. SS#15 Drummond.
Judy SalleyCarrying the full pails was worse than pumping the water
S.S. No. 15 Drummond – McIlquaham School2397 10th Concession, McIlquaham-Blair Side Rd., Lanark–Blair’s great grandfather, George McIlquham, donated the land for S.S. No. 15 Drummond in 1840. The first log building was eventually torn down and a rough lumber structure erected, but it was too small for the growing community and the site was wet and muddy, so a brick building was built across the road on Chas Campbell’s farm. The Maple Leaf Literary Society donated a 6-shelf library in 1915 and in 1925 chemical closets were installed inside the school. Various items were purchased over the years with money made at annual Christmas concerts, including a victrola, a teacher’s chair, a basketball, a water cooler, an aquarium with five goldfish, and a first aid kit. In 1948, electric lights were installed and a well was drilled. The school was finally closed in 1965 and is now a private residence owned by André Messie