Group surfaces to resurrect Taylor’s Spring

JOYANNA LOVE Banner Senior Staff Writer
Posted 5/20/15

Andrew Taylor’s trading post may have been a popular place in the 1830s, but after he moved to Oklahoma his memory largely faded from local minds.

Many who have traveled on Spring Street …

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Group surfaces to resurrect Taylor’s Spring

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Andrew Taylor’s trading post may have been a popular place in the 1830s, but after he moved to Oklahoma his memory largely faded from local minds.

Many who have traveled on Spring Street off First Street have probably never seen the spring for which it was likely named, nor given its history much thought.

Nearly 100 years after Taylor left the area, a building was built on top of the spring that had been one of the reasons he decided to settle where he did.

The building was constructed in 1942. At a recent meeting of the Taylor’s spring committee, local businessman Allan Jones, who has taken enthusiastic interest in the history of the site, said the owner pumped the water from the spring into a custom radiator on the main floor with a fan to create a way to cool the room. By 1960, about a third of the stores downtown had air conditioning, Jones said.

Most recently the building had served as a law office and a dry cleaner.

The donation of the law office portion of the building eventually led to the city of Cleveland buying the other portion. Drainage issues at the site would have meant costly repairs if the business had remained in operation. The city purchased this portion of the building for $150,000.

The building was demolished in March to uncover the spring. Cleveland Public Works crews removed debris and are working to relocate a drainage pipe that was in the area. Previously, the spring could only be seen in a small well in the basement of the building.

To bring the importance of this historic site to the forefront, the Cleveland City Council created a committee of City Councilman Richard Banks, city historian Bob George, Public Works

Director Tommy Myers, Jeff Morelock and Jones to develop a plan for a small park on the site.

“We want it restored to a condition that will be a drawing point for the downtown area,” Banks said.

The demolition has not negatively affected the spring, and it is flowing clear as can be. Myers said the spring has a flow rate of 52 gallons a minute.

One element that has been discussed is re-creating the springhouse, which would have sat on the site in Andrew Taylor’s day. Documentation which Michael T. Slaughter found while researching Andrew Taylor notes the springhouse was made of round logs and was 12 feet by 12 feet. Springhouses were constructed as a way to store perishable items, like cheese, in the spring water to keep them cool.

In Taylor’s day, meat was often preserved by smoking. Taylor’s property had three different sized smokehouses on it, according to an evaluation of the property from 1836.

Although Taylor is said to have owned a trading post, very little information about it has been found. The Trading Post is thought to have been located near the intersection of Broad and Inman streets. Made from hewn logs, the structure was 18 feet by 18 feet.

The stage coach road, which is now Broad Street, ran through Taylor’s property.

As the Taylor’s Spring committee meets to plan its future, connecting to the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway has been suggested.

One idea the committee has agreed on is the site needs more trees.

Jones has already expressed interest in contributing financially to the project. The committee hopes others will jump on board as well.

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