Homesteading Forum banner

Spring house info

6392 Views 15 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Montanarchist
Looking for any info I can find on building a spring house. Books, personal stories, links etc. Searching with the word "spring" is bringing a lot of diluted results.
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
I am new ,soo that may be the problem........:shrug:

Spring house as in a water spring....
Spring house as in the season..
Spring house as in a refridgerated building......

I am a 25 year exsperianced carpenter if you mean the season or a cooled/refridgerated building I may be able to help....never built a spring as in water building.
Sorry, I wasn't clear. Spring house as in a small shed you put over a water spring to use the water for personal use.
I do not know anything about that application....but if you get the details I am sure I can help with the actuall construction and materials and assembly process if that would be any help.

I do not know how much exsperiance you have building and you may already have that part covered...... Good luck !
I have seen two kinds of spring houses. One that was cement walls and a composite roof over the opening of a spring. The cement walls were treated with some food grade substance, and the spring house filled with water. There was an overflow hole at the top so if it over filled the excess had an escape. Essentially the structure is a bottomless water tank that fills withthe spring water from the bottom up.

Another type is built of stone and cement and has a cement trough that fills with the cool spring water. You can place items that you want to keep cool in the water. This type of spring house has a door and you can walk in there like any other room. This type is usually built into a hillside (North facing if possible) and in the shade of a big tree and these measures keep it extra cool. I have heard stories that people with this type of spring house used it as a retreat when hot weather became unbearable, as the spring house would stay cool.

Hubby and I have a spring on a North facing slope, and eventually we will build one of the second type of spring house.
See less See more
Hello - I just sent you another private message with some more information too. In any case.......we have a 2nd spring (not the one I told you about with the cement cisterns / we have two good springs we tapped) and it is "tapped" with a cement round culvert thing. It was there when we bought the property. They just set the cement thing over where the water poured out on the ground, then set four more on top of that.......and it held about 150 to 200 gallons of water....depending on the rain at the time......but we needed more water so that is why we tapped the 2nd stronger spring.

Before we covered our stronger spring, we just laid a big sheet of chicken wire over it to keep the dogs and leaves out. Watch out for snakes if you are going to close in around a spring. Snakes like places like that........let me see if I can find some photos or directions online.......

Where are you anyway? What city are you near?
See less See more
These both have some very good information:

Nice pictures in this one...
Protecting Water Supply Springs

The images weren't archived within this one... (load all of the pics from the link on the first page)
The Rural Art of Capping A Spring
  • Like
Reactions: 1
if your looking for old time ways. foxfire book 4 has a small section on spring houses.
the ones i'm familiar with ..first you gotta have the spring build a concrete floor with a trough in it to capture the water..and then an overflow pipe going out for excess water..

put footings in around the perimeter and use that to build your walls on..

there was one on this property (the part that sold with MIL's house)..and it was a quite large building with one corner having the spring flowing into a flat trough that was square and about 8x8 '...then a pipe came out and went thru it to the wall and thru to a pond..

it was used to wash celery (celery farm in the early part of century)..and to keep food cold.
Thanks everyone. I do have some foxfire books, I'll see if I have that one. I'll read through the links today
Ahhh, my favorite author and favorite re-read every Spring(no pun intended....). Louis Bromfield, From My Experience, (The pleasures and Miseries of Life on a Farm) Copyright 1955, Harper & Brothers, New York. Chapter 10, "The Hard-Working Spring and the House Nobody Loved."

Not much practical advice on building a spring house, but it does suggest that if you build one, you will do best to build it for all, and with love.....
My g-grandparent's spring house was wonderful.
They dug a deep, deep hole to capture the spring. They built a cinderblock house to house it. There were steps going down into it and it was a pretty big room.
It had a cement floor and several channels cut through it. Each channel had a 'dam' so the water would build up in it and then overflow. In those channels they kept there milk and cheese and butter etc.. watermelons kept in the spring are especially good.
They had some windows to let in light and some shelves as well and a dipper hanging above the spring hole.
Best place to be on on a hot day. It was 20* cooler in there.
I've been meaning to take some pictures of the one I built, maybe this thread will help me remember. But anyways, I build ours about five years ago. The first thing I did was dig all the way down to hard rock, this may not work if you don't live on a mountain like us. I then spent almost a week with a rock pick, wrecking bar, and shovel to remove all fractured rock. I had to keep lowering the drain/overflow pipe as I did this. I ended up about 12 feet below grade on the back and 9 on the front. I then built masonry walls from native rock to make a six foot by seven foot by nine foot deep building with a 24" door in the front. I built a 2X6 form that matched the dimensions of the building and asked my mason friend to call when he ended up with an extra yard of concrete. I cast the lid and we set it in mortar using his boom truck. I mounted a piston pump on a galvy rack I made for it above the 3 feet of static water. I'll try to get some pics, you aren't the first member to ask about it.
See less See more
I worked once w/ an execavator doing some re-grading at an old stone farmhouse just outside Phillipsburg. It was being gentrified by a french couple who were dancers on Broadway.

It was across a small road from a small river [Musconetcong] and a large spring run ran thru the yard in a 6' to 8' deep channel b/4 crossing under the road and entering the river. While the farmland was mostly built up the spring run was still flowing and the springhouse was placed in the stream channnel about 60 yards from the house.

The springhouse was stonework that matched the house and it had two channels runing down each side w/ a raised center floor. There were doors at each end, I guess to handle the spring high water w/ two openings at each upstream corner to let the water in. There were two wiers in the center making two levels, I'd guess to have a deeper section for milk cans and a shallower place for crocks of butter andother foodstuffs.

While the couple was modernizing the interior, they were also stripping the stucco off the stone walls and having the stone joints re-pointed. I'd bet the place is worth alot now, at least they left the springhouse...
See less See more
I actually remembered. Here are a few pics. I'm too lazy to do the two different types of coding, and I've promised to write about it to some others who aren't members here; so I'm doing a blog post and will post a link here to it once I'm done. (Here it is: )

See less See more
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.