The Gemmill Well in Almonte 1951

The Gemmill Well in Almonte 1951

Unexpected Almonte

April 13, 2020  · 

This old water fountain is located in Gemmill Park, #Almonte. Enter the park across from the Esso, where the road entrance is, walk down that road and when you are parallel with highway 29, you will see this fountain on your right in the bushes. Was it placed in the park near its inception – sometime shortly after 1943?

In 1943, when the blitz raged over London, Winnifred Knight Dunlop Gemmill, last of the Gemmill family, died. In her will the Gemmill homestead properties were gifted to the people of Almonte for their recreation and enjoyment. I’ve heard that this area, at this end of the park, near this fountain, was a popular picnic spot during that era. Gemmill Park is still a wonderful park, with picnic spots, trails, water and washrooms… 🙂

Thanks Kathy for the photo and directional details ❤️

August 1951

Water coming from taps in the New England section of Almonte has an unpleasant taste and wears a yellow tinge, Town Council -was told at its regular meeting Tuesday .night by Councillor Walter Morton. He said he had heard complaints from several friends who lived in that part of the town and one of them had gone So far as to say the aqua pura had an evil smell.

He asked Reeve George Gomme, Chairman of the Waterworks Committee, if he could throw any light on the subject. Mr. Gomme said he had heard some talk of the kind but as the water was tested – periodically in the Provincial health laboratories, and as every sample came back marked A l, which is the purest classification, he could not see what more there was to do in the matter.

Mr. Gomme said that he understood the local medical health officer secured samples from various sections of the town including New England. One thing sure the water was pure for drinking purposes no matter what color it was or how it tasted. It developed that other members of the Council had heard talk of the water being brackish in New England. One man suggested that it might be iron. Another said he understood the water was at its worst when the well in Gemmill Park, which is practically a failure, was turned on.

This shaft led down into a dolomite rock formation and was practically abandoned so far as a good producer is concerned. The driller said that when dolomite is encountered it means the well will be a failure. However, as the water supply at that time was most precarious and as some water could be obtained from the dud, a small pump was installed and is used from time to time.

No one in the Council was in a position to say whether the well in the park was the culprit or not. Mr. Gomme said it would be an easy matter to have the medical officer, Dr. Fred Snedden, take his next sample from some tap in New England. But again, the Reeve pointed out that while the sample would likely come back from Toronto rating the purest classification possible that would not take a nasty taste out of it nor affect its color.

It was finally decided to send a sample of the water away for mineral analysis. A small quantity of water was taken from a tap in Mr. Harvey Scott’s residence and is now on its way for this test. The laboratory experts will no doubt be able to tell what is in the water and what makes it taste and look the way it does but whether they will be able to suggest a remedy remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, Mr. Gomme reported, the well at the corner of Hope and Euphemia Streets was practically ready for operation. There were still a couple of valves to be installed and a pump house to be built. It is believed this is a very fine well with lots df water. If present hopes are justified it may be the answer to the complaints of New England people about the quality of the water that passes through the taps.

When it is turned on it will probably be quite sweet and if the quantity is what most people think it will be no longer necessary to use the well in Gemmill Park.

also discussed at same meeting.

Need of new doors in the local lock-up was discussed by the Council. Opinion is a child could get out of th e cells as they are.

The municipality (the Town of Mississippi Mills) supplies drinking water to approximately 5,350 people in Almonte. There are five municipal wells constructed between 1948 and 1991 varying in depth from 38 to 79 metres.

Where does the water come from?

The municipal wells draw groundwater from the Nepean Sandstone Aquifer which is well-known for supplying a good volume of quality drinking water.

Drinking Water in Almonte –read here

Gemmill Park Skating Rink May Be Illegal–1947

So What Happened to Miss Winnifred Knight Dunlop Gemmill’s Taxidermy Heads?

The Homestead – a John Dunn story

Jessie Leach Gemmill -The “Claire Fraser” of Lanark

From Gemmil’s Creek to the Riel Rebellion

Gemmill Park Forest read click

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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