The Fayette County Historical Society recently shared with the public that a vintage fire protection cistern was unearthed during the ongoing construction project on Washington Avenue.
The cistern is located in front of the Fayette County Museum, 517 Columbus Ave. in Washington C.H., and while it was visible Monday afternoon, the cistern will soon be filled in and covered back up, according to Fayette County Historical Society trustee Donald Moore.
“They have uncovered a vintage fire well,” said Moore. “It measures about 32 feet across by 16 feet deep.”
According to Moore, the cistern served “as a fire system for protection of the community and was most likely built in the 1900s.”
The Historical Society’s Facebook post explains, “During its era of use, horse drawn fire wagons (later engine) with hand pump pulled up, the cistern was opened and hoses inserted. The museum’s fire buckets and fire chief’s horn reflect that era.”
“This system was massively made,” said Moore. “It’s not concrete. It’s made with bricks—lined on bottom, sides and top.”
Moore explained that he knows of at least three of these cisterns in town, and that this one may be the last one. They are typically under major intersections in the town.
“It’s amazing it’s held up for all this time because it’s directly under the turning space from Washington Avenue into Court Street here in front of the cannon in front of the museum.”
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