Ancient Wood Waterline Exposed

The following article was published in The Pulaski Citizen on Sept. 13, 1967.

An underground water line possibly a part of Pulaski’s pre-Civil War water system was unearthed last week by contractor Bobby Lee (The Old Dirt Dobber) and some of his employees in the process of preparing the site along Pleasant Run Creek for the location of Village Square Shopping Center.

Discovery of the almost perfectly preserved line built of hollowed out cedar longs along with a number of buried yellow poplar troughs and foot-deep layers of sawdust several feel below ground level has proved interesting speculation as to the extent of the water line and what it served and whether or not there may have been in some distant past a sawmill or similar type industry on the site.

The cedar pipes running parallel to the creek north and south were apparently hollowed out by use of red-hot metal rods one end tapered to fit into the other and fastened with hammered iron bands. They varied in size from about six inches in diameter to 10 to 12 inches in the open centers measuring some three inches. Wood samples taken from the interior still retain the red color and distinctive aroma of cedar. Most of the pipes are 8 to 9 feet.

Another discovery made in the earth-moving process was a second water line constructed of cast iron and showing excessive deterioration running parallel to the wooden line and only about 14 inches away from it.

The troughs made of 2 by 12-inch poplar plans were found after Lee’s heavy equipment had uncovered a spring. They were laid so as to lead from the spring to the creek and when last Saturday’s heavy rains washed off the dirt with which they were covered a plank covering beneath them wa revealed – so the mystery grows.

The CITIZEN will be interested in pursuing the historical background of these findings and anyone having any knowledge of such is requested to contact this office.

NOTE: The 1878 DG Beers map (see above clip) of Pulaski shows that J.H. Jackson owned a huge operation covering the entire block between from North First Street to the west, Jefferson Street to the south, Washington Street to the north, and (what is now) Sam Davis Ave, to the east. Later, there was an ice house, owned by Basil Dobrey, and water-pumping station, manned by Robert Gordon, a Black resident of Pulaski, near East Washington Street, which reportedly pumped water from a large spring at that location to the city reservoir. Irwin McGrew’s flour mill stood where Davis and Eslick now operates, and Patterson Lumber’s buildings were across from the fire hall. Claudia