Monday, February 16, 2015
The Cemetery Springs
Some recent discussions on little known mineral springs in my favorite Facebook group (Albany...the way it was) reminded me of the presence of the springs on the grounds of the Cemetery. Long forgotten, these springs are indicated on several maps of the Cemetery.
The excerpt above is from an 1871 map of the grounds that appeared in Edward Fitzgerald's Handbook For The Albany Rural Cemetery. The red markings indicate a suggested tour route for visitors and the map uses the romantic old names for the various paths, hills, and valleys (a subject for a future post or two).
Just to the right of Consecration Lake, there is a label reading Sulphur Sp.; I've made a couple of attempts to pin down the exact spot of this spring, but it appears to have been somewhere near the Cutler plot.
The same map also shows two more springs; there is a High Rock Spring just across the creek from the Townsend-Spencer lot and a Maple Spring somewhat to the southwest of President Arthur's grave.
There were, of course other springs. Fitzgerald notes that a number of springs contribute to the formation of Cypress Water, the man-made pond and fountain on the South Ridge.
Springs were also the sources for other ornamental ponds that once dotted the ground, but have long since been removed. One such pond was a small, round pool called Highland Water on the South Ridge roughly between Sections 15 and 16.
Another small pond on the North Ridge called Arbor Water. Last summer, I spotted a small, muddy sinkhole just off the paved road. At one edge of the eighteen-inch hole, there was a steady flow of very clear water which may have been from such a spring and may have once been the source for Arbor Water.
On the South Ridge , there is also Cold Spring Dell, a narrow little gully with a stream flowing through it from a source near the fence separating Albany Rural and St. Agnes Cemeteries. This stream flows into the above-mentioned Cypress Water.