Friday, October 8, 2010

Replumbing and the old water system on the farm

For me, my insides didn't know that they needed replumbed.  Let alone shortened and replumbed.  They are objecting to the process mighty handily.  It took about 4 days for them to wake back up from the intrusion.

Once awake, the hospital staff must know what comes next, because they want you out of there almost at once.  So the last two days have been spent running to and from the little room behind the big house.

And now I must remember how we had the little building back behind the garage at my grandmother's farm.  She didn't have inside plumbing at all.  We packed the water in with white porcelain buckets.  She had a water table in the summer kitchen that about 5 of these buckets with lids sat upon.  There was always the ladle with its long handle hanging on the side of one of the buckets.  She'd scream at us "do not drink out of the ladle!!!!!"

Mid day, it was always my job to dump the remaining water into the last bucket and head out to the long handle pump to fill the others.  Being careful not to spill too much on the way back into the house.  She would complain if the water wasn't there before supper, because she needed to get the big kettle on the fire before we ate.  We usually filled up the kettle when we were packing the water and started it up about 4:30.  It probably held two gallons.

In the mid 1950s we put in an underground pump system in the old well cavity.  It was about 4 foot across at the bottom and ten feet deep.  It had been bricked up by my departed grandfather, that died 8 years before I was born.  He actually dug that old well with a shovel in the year of 1918.  He was about 40 years old then.

The well casing went down about 70 feet from the bottom of the cavity, and was made of a tile.  I have no idea how they used to put that tile down the hole.  The water was plentiful, but had a heavy iron content that stained all our dishes and especially the tea kettles.  Tasted like the devil too, but we were used to it and didn't know any better.

Maybe that's why I need replumbed inside today!  Bet the surgeon isn't buying it!

Retired Rod


  1. I have many of those old memories as well. Outside hand pump, the outhouse, big copper kettle of water heating on the old coal stove. No indoor plumbing, coal oil lamps, etc. Despite the mess the world is in today I sure do enjoy the progress of inside plumbing!! You will enjoy your new indoor plumbing as well as soon as you get the leaks stopped.

  2. Thanks for the memories, I remember the bathroom being added by my Grandfathers and Dad to the house when we were kids, we had a two holer prior to this and in the winter the seat was hung on the side of a coal range in the kitchen to keep it warm in the PA winter's/ By the way the outouse is still there painted and in good repair. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

  3. At least the surgeons managed to connect all those plumbing pipes back together right and it's all going in the right direction!! Now, if I had done the replumbing, you'd really be in trouble.

    Like Al and Sam have said, my Grandparents also had an old outhouse I remember. Luckily, it was old an not in use as by the time I was about 5, they had indoor plumbing.

    Keep getting lots of exercise!

  4. I was born a city girl, so I never dealt with out houses until I took up camping in my teens. :)

    Hope everything comes out all right. :)

  5. We certainly have come a long way from the time of our grandparents and great-grandparents.

    Hang in there each day will get better!

  6. Well up here on the Northern Ranges we still have an outhouse on every farm. Got some of that new fangled indoor plumbing but here "down the road from Dogpound" is a pretty uptown kind of spot and Brenda insisted on running water before she would move in. I thought she could run and get that water but was soon disabused of that notion. Glad to here you are on the road to recovery.

  7. My grandparents had a cistern on their back porch, and we were screamed at not to drink out of the dipper. That was some good tasting water, wherever they got it from.


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