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SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI, AND SURROUNDINGS • 1889


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(previous page) the mountain for miles, disclosing weird and wonderful scenic attractions, in arches, alcoves, grottoes, devious winding passages leading into halls and chambers of wondrous size, whose walls and ceilings reflect the dazzling splendors of numberless crystals, and away beyond these into other shadowy chambers where the murmur of brooklet and waterfall, the silver gleam of lakelet and pool, and the delicate green of mosses and ferns that were never kissed by the sunshine, and the pearly sheen of overhanging stalactites, remind the visitor that not all the beauty of creation is in the outer world. This great cavern, which has been but partially explored is said to excel the famous Mammoth cave of Kentucky, both in the number and character of its attractions, and when made accessible to the general public by cheap and rapid transit, will alone make a visit to Springfield worth the journey of a thousand miles. There are other caverns of good extent in the neighborhood of the city, and about three miles east is the beautiful Rockbridge Park, which Messrs. Wooley, Porter and Hubbell are converting into one of the finest of local attractions. Springfield is eminently worthy of its name, for it is fairly studded with clear, cold, rock springs, of great purity and volume, a score of which are located within its borders and the near suburbs. Among the more noteworthy of these is the Rockbridge Spring, within the above named park, with a volume sufficient for a strong water power. THE FULBRIGHT SPRING, which issues from a rocky cavern in the hills, two miles north of the city, and the Jones Spring, another splendid fountain issuing from the rocks in the very heart of the town, yield great volumes of the purest living water, from which are obtained THE FINEST PUBLIC WATER SUPPLY between the great lakes and mountains. From these two noble springs issue streams as pure and limpid as a mountain trout brook, with volume equal to the needs of a city of 150,000 people. The utilization of these matchless waters, by THE SPRINGFIELD WATER CO., whose admirable works were constructed in 1883, has proven a strong factor in the health, growth and general prosperity of the city. The issue of the Fulbright spring alone is 5,000,000 gallons per day, and that of the Jones spring 300,000 gallons. The water works, which are the combined reservoir and pressure system, were begun in 1872 and completed the following year by P. B. Perkins, Col. Homer F. Fellows and Col. R. L. McElhaney, and up to the present time involve a total cost of $400,000. The works now embrace a reservoir of 3,500,000 gallons capacity, with two powerful engines at the water tower, and equally formidable engines with pump houses at each of the springs. The pump houses and tower are substantial brick structures, and the six pumps in use by the company have a daily distributing capacity of 2,000,000 gallons, equal to twice the daily needs of the city. The pipe system embraces THIRTY MILES OF MAINS, from four to twelve inches diameter, laid in parallel lines along the five principal streets of the city, which is supplied with 155 fire hydrants. The rapid growth of the city has impelled the equally rapid extension of the water system, which is among the most perfect and complete, in all its details, of any public water system in the western country. The company—which is now composed of P. B. Perkins, John Francis, B. F. Hobart and W. C. Hornbeak—has a capital stock of $400,000, and is furnishing the people of Springfield with a water supply, which, for volume, purity, healthfulness and low temperature, any city in the West might envy; a water supply, to the purity and brilliancy of which the people of St. Louis, Kansas City and St. Joseph are unfortunately strangers. A supply which is of primary importance to the denizens of this fair “Queen City of the Ozarks,” for it is one of (next page)

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