I Knew an Artesian Well

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Well, here it is again....Watery Wednesday and at some point living here in Olympia I was going to have to show you this place. In the heart of downtown is a Diamond Parking lot, and in this lot is brass pipe sticking up out of the ground with water flowing twenty four hours a day three hundred sixty five days a year. I was really surprised when I took this photo. I think this was the only time I've ever been at the well when there haven't been other people there either filling their personal water bottles, or large jugs, or washing their hair or more. (Interesting part of downtown). This water has been flowing for nearly a century. There actually are a number of artesian wells in the Olympia area however this one is the most popular and most visited. You can click here or here to read a little more about the history and politics of this well.

P.S. I left the photo large, but if you can't read the writing on the wall, it says:

This mural honors the Artesian Well
who's waters have flown freely since 1914.
It is part of an effort to commemorate
and respect this unique Olympian place.
The portraits are of local well-goers.
Please enjoy and respect this urban oasis.

Enjoy many more Watery Wednesday shots by clicking the link below.


  1. Zingo Tots Says:

    That is so cool! I never knew about this place while living there!
    SO, I keep meaning to tell you of a "cool" place to photograph. Division & 24th Ave - Deer Run Apartments backs up to Division. There is a convenience store called Handy Pantry across the street. There was a cool little trail through the dense trees that led from the apartment complex to the HP. So, if you are on the trail, it opens up to a bus stop...the street...the store. Everyone that worked in the store was always incredibly rude....but we still went almost daily for little necessities! It is a place I often wish I had photographed as I lived in the apartment closest to the trail and could always see various people walking to and fro! Great way to entertain yourself when you are a poor college student! People watching!

  2. AB Says:

    Fascinating. Maybe, one day they might find a more impressive setup for the well than the ugly standpipe and concrete blocks.

  3. That's really interesting though we keep being told not to waste water. I would love to see someone washing their hair there!
    I like the whole effect, the black and yellow, the for once pretty nice graffiti...

  4. super----another piece of western Washington history. We ARE the wet side.
    In a part of Lynnwood south of me in a part that used to be a small town called Alderwood Manor (not the mall) is a free flowing artesian well still flowing today. All sorts of people lined up with their water bottle, large and small---the bottles I mean. When the road was widened a few years back the state or county piped the water and made a water station with parking spaces and. It doesn't look as natural anymor but it's still gurgling. MB

  5. Lois Says:

    How interesting! When I was growing up, my grandparents had artesian wells on their property just north of St. Augustine, FL. They had a pond we used to swim in that was fed by one. The water was always so cool and refreshing and smelled like sulfur. Thanks for bringing back a nice childhood memory!

  6. gogouci Says:

    I bet this is the most popular place to be on hot, summer days.

  7. Zingo Tots: Thanks for checking in again. I'm not familiar with the HP, but my wife and I will go check it out soon.

    AB: Yeah, fancy it's not but you wouldn't believe the number of people that go there.

    cieldequimper: I'll have to park near there one of these days and break out the long lens. Maybe I can get a candid shot for you.

    Small City Scenes: They've thought about capping this location and piping it out of the ground somewhere else, then making a small park around it.

    Lois: Glad to trigger those memories.

    gogouci: Actually the public fountain about three or four blocks away really gets the summer traffic.

  8. Linnea W Says:

    That's really interesting. Too bad you couldn't hook up a pipe and send it all down our way where we need water!! I wonder how it tastes...

    Fascinating bit of Olympia once again!

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