From the Vault: Gusher at Old Red! — 1890

by Paula Bosse

artesian_bywaters-hogue_bw-smu“Artesian Well Gushes on the Courthouse Grounds”
Mural by Jerry Bywaters & Alexandre Hogue (1934)

by Paula Bosse

I had meant to post this look back at a previous Flashback Dallas post last week! On October 9, 1890 — 125 years ago — a desperately-needed water source was discovered beneath the then-under-construction Dallas County Court House. Read how an artesian well came to be sunk on the grounds of the Old Red courthouse, the incredible gusher it produced, and the jubilant celebration that followed. This discovery was a hugely important moment in Dallas’ history — for one thing, it assured the city’s very survival — but I found almost nothing about it except in contemporary reports from the newspapers of the day. So I wrote about it, and it’s one of my favorite posts. You can read it here.

Happy belated 125th anniversary, old capped and forgotten well!

I never did receive any feedback on whether this odd structure on the courthouse lawn is, in fact, what remains of that well. It seems like it should be — it’s on the exact spot where the gusher gushed. …Is it?

Photo: Paula Bosse


Photo of mural by Harry Bennett from The Bywaters Special Collections, Hamon Arts Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University; more information is here.


Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.