Reservoir Park & Fountain
Springfield Journal Register, date of paper which originally published the following is unknown.
BY REQUEST - THE OLD RESERVOIR AND ITS FOUNTAIN, 1889 --
It is a pleasure to heed the request for a reprinting of this old North Side setting.
The old Reservoir with its imposing fountain, which once stood in Reservoir Park - now the site of Lanphier
High School, was one of the most familiar landmarks of Old Springfield. The Reservoir itself
was an important part of the city waterworks system for several decades. Its construction was begun in the
Fall of 1867, the embankment being built with the earth excavated from the Park lagoon. It had a capacity of 4,000,000 gallons
and afforded a reserve water supply which proved valuable in emergencies. As the pressure from the river pumping station
increased, the Reservoir gradually went into the discard and about the year 1938 it was razed by WPA workers.
The fountain in the center presented a beautiful sight when it was in operation, with the
water spraying from the top - particulary in night displays with colored lights playing on it,
as often happened in the early days. The Reservoir's one drawback was its lure to the despondent,
accounting for a number of rendezvous with death in the early days.
FOR YOUR RESERVOIR PARK COLLECTION, A VIEW OF 1892 --
Among the pictures of old Reservoir Park which have come down to our generation, this view
of the main lagoon in the west end of the Park is one of the most attractive that we have seen. To the oldsters
who spent so many happy hours at this favorite recreation spot in the Nineties and Nineteen Hundreds, it will
bring back fond memories indeed. On the placid surface of the lagoon several beautiful swans could be seen on any
pleasant day, and there was quite a flock of ducks as well. The quaint little swan house on the island, in the distance, was
connected with the shores by rustic bridges. Running parallel with the left bank was a driveway which led around the
north end of the Park and followed the loop to the Reservoir itself. There were one or two other lagoons - out of range of the camera -
where boats were for hire and fishermen threw in their lines. Over a long period, innumerable family
parties, clubs, sorieties, churches and Sunday Schools used the picnic grounds at right and some of the picnic benches can be seen in this
picture. It "really takes you back"!
Submitted by: Jeanie Lowe.