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Continuing the story of Pulaski’s water supply

In the year 1907, Town of Pulaski citizens were beginning to panic over the question of a water supply. Springs had proven unsuccessful, and drilled wells condemned as being impure. Individual systems, such as cisterns and private wells served the people who installed them, but it was not practical for each residence to have its own system, so the burden fell upon the town council and the mayor. The officials were discussing among themselves the possibility of constructing a dam in one of the large watersheds west ant southwest of the town. In that year the council employed an engineer, G. H. Derrick to perform surveys to locate a suitable site on which to build a dam capable of holding back water that would provide gravity flow to the tank on Randolph Avenue.
About three miles west of the Valley Street railroad crossing, a site was chosen. It would be the location of Hogan’s Dam and Reservoir, and Derrick recommended it as the ideal spot for Pulaski’s new water system. Some local politicians thought it was a great idea, and of course, there were those who would fight it tooth and nail. Some of those who opposed the building of Hogan’s dam started the rumor that there were many caves in the reservoir site, and that all of the water would sink into the ground, which was not a correct statement.
In the meantime town citizens were wondering how much longer the water crisis would last. No doubt they were ready to settle for anything, so it was not too hard to get them excited over a 1907 headline in the local newspaper, The Southwest Times, that read “Spring water now flowing into Pulaski.”
The following is quoted from the accompanying article. “The work of bringing water from a spring in Bent French Hollow on the south side of Pulaski, located just south of the south end of South Jefferson Avenue has been completed under the direction of Mayor Loving and John T. Jackson, who has for some time past has been working with a good force of hands in laying the pipe from the spring to the schoolhouse.” The article continued, “four hydrants have been established on various corners in the town, from which water can be obtained.
“From this source, citizens of the town can obtain drinking water that is pronounced pure, and and this can be done without great inconvenience by such parties as have no other supply, until the water question is finally decided and a new plant is in operation.”
In writing about those critical years of water shortage, Attorney F. W. Morton said, “For a while, the only public supply was afforded by a small pipe running from a mineral spring in the mountains south of town, with a spigot beside the street corner of Main Street and Jefferson Avenue.”
Engineer Derrick’s plan called for a 26 foot high dam, on Hogan’s Branch, in the mountains southwest of town, with a ten or twelve inch cast iron pipe to carry the water to the tank on Randolph Avenue. Derrick had a good plan, but it would take three more years of arguing , fussing, and ranting by politicians, before the plan would be carried out. This meant three more years of the discomfort brought about by water rationing. The citizens had suffered too long because of the hard-headedness of some politicians.
Next week we will get into the construction of the long awaited dam.

Lloyd Mathews is a retired land surveyor and a historian who lives in Pulaski.

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Continuing the story of Pulaski’s water supply

In the year 1907, Town of Pulaski citizens were beginning to panic over the question of a water supply. Springs had proven unsuccessful, and drilled wells condemned as being impure. Individual systems, such as cisterns and private wells served the people who installed them, but it was not practical for each residence to have its own system, so the burden fell upon the town council and the mayor. The officials were discussing among themselves the possibility of constructing a dam in one of the large watersheds west ant southwest of the town. In that year the council employed an engineer, G. H. Derrick to perform surveys to locate a suitable site on which to build a dam capable of holding back water that would provide gravity flow to the tank on Randolph Avenue.
About three miles west of the Valley Street railroad crossing, a site was chosen. It would be the location of Hogan’s Dam and Reservoir, and Derrick recommended it as the ideal spot for Pulaski’s new water system. Some local politicians thought it was a great idea, and of course, there were those who would fight it tooth and nail. Some of those who opposed the building of Hogan’s dam started the rumor that there were many caves in the reservoir site, and that all of the water would sink into the ground, which was not a correct statement.
In the meantime town citizens were wondering how much longer the water crisis would last. No doubt they were ready to settle for anything, so it was not too hard to get them excited over a 1907 headline in the local newspaper, The Southwest Times, that read “Spring water now flowing into Pulaski.”
The following is quoted from the accompanying article. “The work of bringing water from a spring in Bent French Hollow on the south side of Pulaski, located just south of the south end of South Jefferson Avenue has been completed under the direction of Mayor Loving and John T. Jackson, who has for some time past has been working with a good force of hands in laying the pipe from the spring to the schoolhouse.” The article continued, “four hydrants have been established on various corners in the town, from which water can be obtained.
“From this source, citizens of the town can obtain drinking water that is pronounced pure, and and this can be done without great inconvenience by such parties as have no other supply, until the water question is finally decided and a new plant is in operation.”
In writing about those critical years of water shortage, Attorney F. W. Morton said, “For a while, the only public supply was afforded by a small pipe running from a mineral spring in the mountains south of town, with a spigot beside the street corner of Main Street and Jefferson Avenue.”
Engineer Derrick’s plan called for a 26 foot high dam, on Hogan’s Branch, in the mountains southwest of town, with a ten or twelve inch cast iron pipe to carry the water to the tank on Randolph Avenue. Derrick had a good plan, but it would take three more years of arguing , fussing, and ranting by politicians, before the plan would be carried out. This meant three more years of the discomfort brought about by water rationing. The citizens had suffered too long because of the hard-headedness of some politicians.
Next week we will get into the construction of the long awaited dam.

Lloyd Mathews is a retired land surveyor and a historian who lives in Pulaski.

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